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FIRST EDITION, . . . January 1905 
Reprinted, . . . . June 1907 

SECOND EDITION (i/-) . . October 1911 

&0 tfje 









HAVING been recommended to leave home, in April 1878, 
in order to recruit my health by means which had proved 
serviceable before, I decided to visit Japan, attracted less by 
the reputed excellence of its climate than by the certainty 
that it possessed, in an especial degree, those sources of novel 
and sustained interest which conduce so essentially to the 
enjoyment and restoration of a solitary health-seeker. The 
climate disappointed me, but, though I found the country a 
study rather than a rapture, its interest exceeded my largest 

This is not a " Book on Japan," but a narrative of travels 
in Japan, and an attempt to contribute something to the sum 
of knowledge of the present condition of the country, and it 
was not till I had travelled for some months in the interior of 
the main island and in Yezo that I decided that my materials 
were novel enough to render the contribution worth making. 
From Nikko northwards my route was altogether off the 
beaten track, and had never been traversed in its entirety by 
any European. I lived among the Japanese, and saw their 
mode of living, in regions unaffected by European contact. 
As a lady travelling alone, and the first European lady who 
had been seen in several districts through which my route lay, 
my experiences differed more or less widely from those of 
preceding travellers ; and I am able to offer a fuller account 
of the aborigines of Yezo, obtained by actual acquaintance 



with them, than has hitherto been given. These are my 
chief reasons for offering this volume to the public. 

It was with some reluctance that I decided that it 
should consist mainly of letters written on the spot to my 
sister and a circle of personal friends, for this form of 
publication involves the sacrifice of artistic arrangement 
and literary treatment, and necessitates a certain amount of 
egotism ; but, on the other hand, it places the reader in the 
position of the traveller, and makes him share the vicissitudes 
of travel, discomfort, difficulty, and tedium, as well as novelty 
and enjoyment. The " beaten tracks," with the exception of 
Nikko, have been dismissed in a few sentences, but where 
their features have undergone marked changes within a few 
years, as in the case of Tokiyo (Yedo), they have been 
sketched more or less slightly. Many important subjects are 
necessarily passed over. 

In Northern Japan, in the absence of all other sources 
of information, I had to learn everything from the people 
themselves, through an interpreter, and every fact had to be 
disinterred by careful labour from amidst a mass of rubbish. 
The Ainos supplied the information which is given concerning 
their customs, habits, and religion ; but I had an opportunity 
of comparing my notes with some taken about the same time 
by Mr. Heinrich Von Siebold of the Austrian Legation, and 
of finding a most satisfactory agreement on all points. 

Some of the Letters give a less pleasing picture of the 
condition of the peasantry than the one popularly presented, 
and it is possible that some readers may wish that it had been 
less realistically painted ; but as the scenes are strictly repre- 
sentative, and I neither made them nor went in search of 
them, I offer them in the interests of truth, for they illustrate 
the nature of a large portion of the material with which the 
Japanese Government has to work in building up the New 

Accuracy has been my first aim, but the sources of error 


are many, and it is from those who have studied Japan the 
most carefully, and are the best acquainted with its difficulties, 
that I shall receive the most kindly allowance if, in spite of 
carefulness, I have fallen into mistakes. 

The Transactions of the English and German Asiatic 
Societies of Japan, and papers on special Japanese subjects, 
including " A Budget of Japanese Notes," in the Japan Mail 
and Tokiyo Times, gave me valuable help ; and I gratefully 
acknowledge the assistance afforded me in many ways by Sir 
Harry S. Parkes, K.C.B., and Mr. Satow of H.B.M.'s Lega- 
tion, Principal Dyer, Mr. Chamberlain of the Imperial Naval 
College, Mr. F. V. Dickins, and others, whose kindly interest 
in my work often encouraged me when I was disheartened by 
my lack of skill ; but, in justice to these and other kind 
friends, I am anxious to claim and accept the fullest measure 
of personal responsibility for the opinions expressed, which, 
whether right or wrong, are wholly my own. 

The illustrations, with the exception of three, which are 
by a Japanese artist, have been engraved from sketches of my 
own or Japanese photographs. 

I am painfully conscious of the defects of this volume, 
but I venture to present it to the public in the hope that, 
in spite of its demerits, it may be accepted as an honest 
attempt to describe things as I saw them in Japan, on land 
journeys of more than 1400 miles. 

Since the letters passed through the press, the beloved and 
only sister to whom, in the first instance, they were written, to 
whose able and careful criticism they owe much, and whose 
loving interest was the inspiration alike of my travels and of 
my narratives of them, has passed away. 




First View of Japan A Vision of Fujisan Japanese Sampans "Pullman 
Cars" Undignified Locomotion -Paper Money The Drawbacks of 
Japanese Travelling ..... Pages 1-7 

Sir Harry Parkes An "Ambassador's Carriage" Cart Coolies. 8-q 


Yedo and Tokiyo The Yokohama Railroad The Effect of Misfits The Plain 
of Yedo Personal Peculiarities First Impressions of Tokiyo H. B. M. 's 
Legation An English Home . . . . 10-14 


' ' John Chinaman ' ' Engaging a Servant First Impressions of Ito A Solemn 
Contract The Food Question . . . 15-20 


Kwan-non Temple Uniformity of Temple Architecture A Kuruma Expedi- 
tionA Perpetual Festival The Ni-d The Limbo of Vanity Heathen 
Prayers Binzuru A Group of Devils Archery Galleries New Japan 
An EUgante ...... 21-31 



Fears Travelling Equipments Passports Coolie Costume A Yedo Diorama 
Rice- Fields Tea-Houses A Traveller's Reception The Inn at 
Kasukab^ Lack of Privacy A Concourse of Noises A Nocturnal 
Alarm A Vision of Policemen A Budget from Yedo . Pages 32-42 

LETTER Ml. (Continued.} 

A Coolie falls ill Peasant Costume Varieties in Threshing The Tochigi 
Yatloyti Farming Villages A Beautiful Region An hi Memoriam 
Avenue A Doll's Street Nikko The Journey's End C'oolie Kindliness 



\ Japanese Idyll Musical Stillness My Rooms Floral Decorations Kanaya 
and his Household Table Equipments . . ."* 51-53 


The Beauties of Nikko The Burial of lye'yasu The Approach to the Great 
Shrines The Yomei Gate Gorgeous Decorations Simplicity of the 
Mausoleum The Shrine of lye'mitsu Religious Art of Japan and India 
An Earthquake Beauties of Wood-carving . . 54-6i 


A Japanese Pack-Horse and Pack-Saddle Yadoya and Attendant A Native 
Watering-Place The Sulphur Baths A " Squeeze " .. 62-65 


Peaceful Monotony A Japanese School A Dismal Ditty Punishment A 
Children's Party A Juvenile Belle Female Names A Juvenile Drama 
Needlework Caligraphy Arranging Flowers Kanaya Daily Routine 
An Evening's Entertainment Planning Routes The God-shelf 


LETTER ^(Continued.} 

Darkness visible Nikko Shops Girls and Matrons Night and Sleep 
Parental Love Childish Docility Hair-dressing Skin Diseases 



LETTER X. ( Completed. ) 

Shops and Shopping The Barber's Shop A Paper Waterproof Ito's Vanity 
Preparations for the Journey Transport and Prices Money and 
Measurements ...... Pages 77-79 


Comfort disappears Fine Scenery An Alarm A Farm-house An unusual 
Costume Bridling a Horse Female Dress and Ugliness Babies My 
Mago Beauties of the Kinugawa Fujihara My Servant Horse-shoes 
An absurd Mistake ..... 80-91 


A Fantastic Jumble The "Quiver" of Poverty The Water-shed From Bad 
to Worse The Rice Planter's Holiday A Diseased Crowd Amateur 
Doctoring Want of Cleanliness Rapid Eating Premature Old Age 


LETTER XII. (Concluded.} 

A Japanese Ferry A Corrugated Road The Pass of Sanno Various Vegeta- 
tion An Unattractive Undergrowth Preponderance of Men 96-98 


The Plain of Wakamatsu Light Costume The Takata Crowd A Congress 
of Schoolmasters Timidity of a Crowd Bad Roads Vicious Horses 
Mountain Scenery A Picturesque Inn Swallowing a Fish-bone Poverty 
and Suicide An Inn-kitchen England Unknown ! My Breakfast 
Disappears ....... 99-105 


An Infamous Road Monotonous Greenery Abysmal Dirt Low Lives 
The Tsugawa Yadoya Politeness A Shipping Port A "Barbarian 
Devil " 106-108 



A Hurry The Tsugawa Packet-boat Running the Rapids Fantastic 
Scenery The River-life Vineyards Drying Barley Summer Silence 
The Outskirts of Niigata The Church Mission House Pages 109-112 


Abominable Weather Insect Pests Absence of Foreign Trade A Refractory 
River Progress The Japanese City Water Highways Niigata Gardens 
Ruth Fyson The Winter Climate A Population in Wadding 



The Canal-side at Niigata Awful Loneliness -Courtesy Dr. Palm's Tandem 
A Noisy Matsuri A Jolting Journey The Mountain Villages 
Winter Dismalness An Out-of-the-world Hamlet Crowded Dwellings 
Riding a Cow "Drunk and Disorderly" An Enforced Rest Local 
Discouragements Heavy Loads Absence of Beggary Slow Travelling 



Comely Kine Japanese Criticism on a Foreign Usage A Pleasant Halt 
Renewed Courtesies The Plain of Yonezawa A Curious Mistake The 
Mother's Memorial Arrival at Komatsu Stately Accommodation A 
Vicious Horse An Asiatic Arcadia A Fashionable \Vatering-place-A 
Belle "Godowns" ..... 128-136 


Prosperity Convict Labour A New Bridge Yamagata Intoxicating 
Forgeries The Government Buildings Bad Manners Snow Mountains 
A Wretched Town ..... 137-142 


The Effect of a Chicken Poor Fare Slow Travelling Objects of Interest 
KaKkf The Fatal Close A Great Fire Security of the Kuras 


LETTER XX. (Continued.) 

Lunch in Public A Grotesque Accident Police Inquiries Man or Woman ? 
A Melancholy Stare A Vicious Horse An Ill-favoured Town A 
Disappointment A Torii .... Pages 146-151 

LETTER XX. (Concluded.} 

A Casual Invitation A Ludicrous Incident Politeness of a Policeman A 
Comfortless Sunday An Outrageous Irruption A Privileged Stare 



The Necessity of Firmness Perplexing Misrepresentations Gliding with the 
Stream Suburban Residences The Kubota Hospital A Formal Recep- 
tion The Normal School ..... 155-158 


A Silk Factory Employment for Women A Police Escort The Japanese 
Police Force ...... 159-160 


" A Plague of Immoderate Rain " A Confidential Servant Ito's Diary Ito's 
Excellences Ito's Faults A Prophecy of the Future of Japan Curious 
Queries Superfine English Economical Travelling The Japanese Pack- 
horse again ...... 161-164 


The Symbolism of Seaweed Afternoon Visitors An Infant Prodigy A Feat 
in Caligraphy Child Worship A Borrowed Dress A Trousseau House 
Furniture The Marriage Ceremony . . . 165-169 


A Holiday Scene A Matsuri Attractions of the Revel Matsuri Cars 
Gods and Demons A Possible Marbour A Village Forge Prosperity of 
Sakt Brewers A " Great Sight " .... 170-174 



The Fatigues of Travelling Torrents and Mud Ito's Surliness The Blind 
Shampooers A Supposed Monkey Theatre A Suspended Ferry A 
Difficult Transit Perils on the Yonetsurugawa A Boatman Drowned 
Nocturnal Disturbances A Noisy Yadoya Storm -bound Travellers 
Hail Hai ! More Nocturnal Disturbances . Pages 175-182 


Good-tempered Intoxication The Effect of Sunshine A tedious Altercation 
Evening Occupations Noisy Talk Social Gatherings Unfair Com- 
parisons ....... 183-186 


Torrents of Rain An unpleasant Detention Devastations produced by 
Floods The Yadate Pass The Force of Water Difficulties thicken 
A Primitive Yadoya The Water rises . . . 187-192 

LETTER XXVIII. (Continued^ 

Scanty Resources Japanese Children Children's Games A Sagacious Ex- 
ample A Kite Competition Personal Privations . . 193-196 


Hope deferred' Effects of the Flood Activity of the Police A Ramble in 
Disguise The Tanabata Festival Mr. Satow's Reputation 197-199 


A Lady's Toilet Hair-dressing Paint and Cosmetics Afternoon Visitors 
Christian Converts . . 200-202 


A Travelling Curiosity Rude Dwellings Primitive Simplicity The Public 
Bath-house .... . . . 203-205 



A Hard Day's Journey An Overturn Nearing the Ocean Joyful Excitement 
Universal Greyness Inopportune Policemen A Stormy Voyage A 
Wild Welcome A Windy Landing The Journey's End 

Pages 206-209 


Form and Colour A Windy Capital Eccentricities in House Roofs 


Ito's Delinquency " Missionary Manners " A Predicted Failure 



A Lovely Sunset An Official Letter A " Front Horse" Japanese Courtesy 
The Steam Ferry Coolies Abscond A Team of Savages A Drove of 
Horses Floral Beauties An Unbeaten Track A Ghostly Dwelling 
Solitude and Eeriness . . . . . 216-230 

LETTER XXXV. (Continued.) 

The Harmonies of Nature A Good Horse A Single Discord A Forest 
Aino Ferrymen " Les Puces! Les Puces!" Baffled Explorers Ito's 
Contempt for Ainos An Aino Introduction . . 231-233 


Savage Life A Forest Track Cleanly Villages A Hospitable Reception 
The Chiefs Mother The Evening Meal A Savage Seance Libations to 
the Gods Nocturnal Silence Aino Courtesy The Chiefs Wife 


LETTER XXXV\.-(Continued.} 

A Supposed Act of Worship Parental Tenderness Morning Visits 
Wretched Cultivation Honesty and Generosity A "Dug-out" Fe- 
male Occupations The Ancient Fate A New Arrival A Perilous Pre- 
scription The Shrine of Yoshitsime' The Chiefs Return . 244-253 



Barrenness of Savage Life Irreclaimable Savages The Aino Physique 
Female Comeliness Torture and Ornament Child Life Docility and 
Obedience . . .... Pages 254-261 

LETTER XXXVII. (Continued.) 

Aino Clothing Holiday Dress Domestic Architecture Household Gods 
Japanese Curios The Necessaries of Life Clay Soup Arrow Poison 
Arrow Traps Female Occupations Bark Cloth The Art of Weaving 


LETTER XXXVII. (Continued.} 

A Simple Nature- Worship Aino Gods A Festival Song Religious Intoxica- 
tion Bear -Worship The Annual Saturnalia The Future State 
Marriage and Divorce Musical Instruments Etiquette The Chieftain- 
ship Death and Burial Old Age Moral Qualities . 273-284 


A Parting Gift A Delicacy Generosity A Seaside Village Pipichari's 
Advice A Drunken Revel Ito's Prophecies The Kocho's Illness 
Patent Medicines . . . . . . 285-288 


A Welcome Gift Recent Changes Volcanic Phenomena Interesting Tufa 
Cones Semi-strangulation A Fall into a Bear-trap The Shiraoi Ainos 
Horsebreaking and Cruelty . . ... 289-295 

LETTER XXXIX. (Continued.) 

The Universal Language The Yezo Corrals- T A "Typhoon Rain" Difficult 
Tracks An Unenviable Ride Drying Clothes A Woman's Remorse 



"More than Peace" Geographical Difficulties Usu-taki Swimming the 
Osharu A Dream of Beauty A Sunset Effect A Nocturnal Alarm 
The Coast Ainos ...... 299-305 


LETTER XL (Continued.'] 

The Sea-shore A " Hairy Aino" A Horse Fight The Horses of Yezo 
"Ba'd Mountains" A Slight Accident Magnificent Scenery A 
Bleached Halting-Place A Musty Room Aino "Good-breeding " 

Pages 306-311 


A Group of Fathers The Lebunge" Ainos The Salisbt/ria adiantifolia A 
Family Group The Missing Link Oshamambe' Disorderly Horses 
The River Yurapu The Seaside Aino Canoes The Last Morning 
Dodging Europeans ..... 312-319 


Pleasant Last Impressions The Japanese Junk Ito Disappears My Letter 
of Thanks ....... 320-321 


Pleasant Prospects A Miserable Disappointment Caught in a Typhoon A 
Dense Fog Alarmist Rumours A Welcome at T6kiy6 The Last of the 
Mutineers . ..... 322-324 


Fine Weather Cremation in Japan The Governor of T6kiy6 An Awkward 
Question An Insignificant Building Economy in Funeral Expenses 
Simplicity of the Cremation Process The Last of Japan . 325-328 


The Yomei Gate, Shrines of Nikko , Frontispiece 

Fujisan . Page i 
Travelling Restaurant ..... 5 

Japanese Man-Cart ..... 9 

A Lake Diwa Tea- House . . .20 

Stone Lanterns . . . . , .28 

A Kuruma . . . , . -35 

Road-Side Tea-House . . , . -38 

Sir Harry's Messenger . . , , .42 

Kanaya's House . . . , . .52 

Japanese Pack-Horse . . , . .63 

Attendant at Tea-House . . , , .64 

Summer and Winter Costume . , .82 

Buddhist Priests . . . . , 112 

Street and Canal . . . , .117 

The Flowing Invocation . . . .130 

The Belle of Kaminoyama . . , 135 

Torii . . . . . . 149 

Daikoku, the God of Wealth . . . 154 

Myself in a Straw Rain-Cloak . . . .176 

A Lady's Mirror. . . . . .201 



Akita Farm-House . 204 

Aino Store-House at Horobets . . . .223 

Aino Lodges. {From a Japanese Sketch} , . ,224 

Aino Houses . . . . , ,234 

Ainos at Home. (From a Japanese Sketch) , -235 

Aino Millet-Mill and Pestle . . .238 

Aino Store-House . . . , . 247 

Ainos of Yezo . . , * . .256 

An Aino Patriarch . . .. , .258 

Tattooed Female Hand . 260 

Aino Gods .... . 266 

Plan of an Aino House ..... 267 

Weaver's Shuttle . , . , .270 

A Hiogo Buddha . . . .272 

The Rokkukado . . . . . .288 

My Kuruma- Runner . . . . 305 

Temple Gateway at I sshinden . . ." .311 
Entrance to Shrine of Seventh Shogun, Shiba, Tokiyo . 323 

Fujisan, from a Village on the Tokaido . . . .326 



First View of Japan A Vision of Fujisan Japanese Sampans ' ' Pullman 
Cars" Undignified Locomotion Paper Money The Drawbacks of 
Japanese Travelling. 

May 21. 

EIGHTEEN days of unintermitted rolling over " desolate rainy 
seas " brought the " City of Tokio " early yesterday morning 
to Cape King, and by noon we were steaming up the Gulf of 
Yedo, quite near the shore. The day was soft and grey with 
a little faint blue sky, and, though the coast of Japan is much 
more prepossessing than most coasts, there were no startling 
surprises either of colour or form. Broken wooded ridges, 
deeply cleft, rise from the water's edge, gray, deep-roofed 
villages cluster about the mouths of the ravines, and terraces 
of rice cultivation, bright with the greenness of English lawns, 
run up to a great height among dark masses of upland forest. 
The populousness of the coast is very impressive, and the gulf 
everywhere was equally peopled with fishing -boats, of which 
we passed not only hundreds, but thousands, in five hours. 
The coast and sea were pale, and the boats were pale too, 
their hulls being unpainted wood, and their sails pure white 
duck. Now and then a high-sterned junk drifted by like a 
phantom galley, then we slackened speed to avoid extermin- 
ating a fleet of triangular-looking fishing-boats with white 
square sails, and so on through the grayness and dumbness 
hour after hour. 

For long I looked in vain for Fujisan, and failed to see it, 


though I heard ecstasies all over the deck, till, accidentally 
looking heavenwards instead of earthwards, I saw far above 
any possibility of height, as one would have thought, a huge, 
truncated cone of pure snow, 13,080 feet above the sea, from 
which it sweeps upwards in a glorious curve, very wan, against 
a very pale blue sky, with its base and the intervening country 


veiled in a pale grey mist. 1 It was a wonderful vision, and 
shortly, as a vision, vanished. Except the cone of Tristan 
d'Acunha also a cone of snow I never saw a mountain rise 
in such lonely majesty, with nothing near or far to detract from 
its height and grandeur. No wonder that it is a sacred 
mountain, and so dear to the Japanese that their art is never 

1 This is an altogether exceptional aspect of Fujisan, under exceptional 
atmospheric conditions. The mountain usually looks broader and lower, and 
is often compared to an inverted fan. 


weary of representing it. It was nearly fifty miles off when we 
first saw it. 

The air and water were alike motionless, the mist was still 
and pale, grey clouds lay restfully on a bluish sky, the re- 
flections of the white sails of the fishing-boats scarcely quivered ; 
it was all so pale, wan, and ghastly, that the turbulence of 
crumpled foam which we left behind us, and our noisy, 
throbbing progress, seemed a boisterous intrusion upon 
sleeping Asia 

The gulf narrowed, the forest-crested hills, the terraced 
ravines, the picturesque grey villages, the quiet beach life, and 
the pale blue masses of the mountains of the interior, became 
more visible. Fuji retired into the mist in which he enfolds 
his grandeur for most of the summer ; we passed Reception 
Bay, Perry Island, Webster Island, Cape Saratoga, and Missis- 
sippi Bay American nomenclature which perpetuates the 
successes of American diplomacy and not far from Treaty 
Point came upon a red lightship with the words "Treaty 
Point " in large letters upon her. Outside of this no foreign 
vessel may anchor. 

The bustle among my fellow-passengers, many of whom 
were returning home, and all of whom expected to be met 
by friends, left me at leisure, as I looked at unattractive, un- 
familiar Yokohama and the pale grey land stretched out before 
me, to speculate somewhat sadly on my destiny on these strange 
shores, on which I have not even an acquaintance. On 
mooring we were at once surrounded by crowds of native boats 
called by foreigners sampans^ and Dr. Gulick, a near relation 
of my Hilo friends, came on board to meet his daughter, 
welcomed me cordially, and relieved me of all the trouble of 
disembarkation. These sampans are very clumsy-looking, but 
are managed with great dexterity by the boatmen, who gave 
and received any number of bumps with much good nature, 
and without any of the shouting and swearing in which com- 
petitive boatmen usually indulge. 

The partially triangular shape of these boats approaches 
that of a salmon-fisher's punt used on certain British rivers. 
Being floored gives them the appearance of being absolutely 
flat-bottomed ; but, though they tilt readily, they are very safe, 
being heavily built and fitted together with singular precision 


with wooden bolts and a few copper elects. They are sculled, 
not what we should call rowed, by two or four men with very 
heavy oars made of two pieces of wood working on pins placed 
on outrigger bars. The men scull standing and use the thigh 
as a rest for the oar. They all wear a single, wide-sleeved, 
scanty, blue cotton garment, not fastened or girdled at the 
waist, straw sandals, kept on by a thong passing between the 
great toe and the others, and if they wear any head-gear, it is 
only a wisp of blue cotton tied round the forehead. The one 
garment is only an apology for clothing, and displays lean 
concave chests and lean muscular limbs. The skin is very 
yellow, and often much tattooed with mythical beasts. The 
charge for sampans is fixed by tariff, so the traveller lands 
without having his temper ruffled by extortionate demands. 

The first thing that impressed me on landing was that 
there were no loafers, and that all the small, ugly, kindly- 
looking, shrivelled, bandy-legged, round-shouldered, concave- 
chested, poor-looking beings in the streets had some affairs of 
their own to mind. At the top of the landing-steps there was 
a portable restaurant, a neat and most compact thing, with 
charcoal stove, cooking and eating utensils complete ; but it 
looked as if it were made by and for dolls, and the mannikin 
who kept it was not five feet high. At the custom-house we 
were attended to by minute officials in blue uniforms of 
European pattern and leather boots ; very civil creatures, 
who opened and examined our trunks carefully, and strapped 
them up again, contrasting pleasingly with the insolent and 
rapacious officials who perform the same duties at New York. 

Outside were about fifty of the now well-known jin-ri-ki- 
s/ias, and the air was full of a buzz produced by the rapid 
reiteration of this uncouth word by fifty tongues. This con- 
veyance, as you know, is a feature of Japan, growing in 
importance every day. It was only invented seven years ago, 
and already there are nearly 23,000 in one city, and men can 
make so much more by drawing theta than by almost any kind 
of skilled labour, that thousands of fine young men desert 
agricultural pursuits and flock into the towns to make draught- 
animals of themselves, though it is said that the average 
duration of a man's life after he takes to running is only five 
years, and that the runners fall victims in large numbers to 



aggravated forms of heart and lung disease. Over tolerably 
level ground a good runner can trot forty miles a day, at a 
rate of about four miles an hour. They are registered and 
taxed at 8s. a year for one carrying two persons, and 45. for 
one which carries one only, and there is a regular tariff for 
time and distance. 

The kuruma, or jin-ri-ki-sha, 1 consists of a light perambu- 


lator body, an adjustible hood of oiled paper, a velvet or cloth 
lining and cushion, a well for parcels under the seat, two high 
slim wheels, and a pair of shafts connected by a bar at the ends. 
The body is usually lacquered and decorated according to its 
owner's taste. Some show little except polished brass, others 
are altogether inlaid with shells known as Venus's ear, and 

1 I continue hereafter to use the Japanese word kuruma instead of the 
Chinese word Jin-ri-ki-sha. Kuruma, literally a wheel or vehicle, is the word 
commonly used by the Jin-ri-ki-sha men and other Japanese for the ' ' man- 
power-carriage, " and is certainly more euphonious. From kuruma naturally 
comes kurumaya for the kuruma runner. 


others are gaudily painted with contorted dragons, or groups 
of peonies, hydrangeas, chrysanthemums, and mythical per- 
sonages. They cost from 2 upwards. The shafts rest on the 
ground at a steep incline as you get in it must require much 
practice to enable one to mount with ease or dignity the 
runner lifts them up, gets into them, gives the body a good 
tilt backwards, and goes off at a smart trot. They are drawn 
by one, two, or three men, according to the speed desired by 
the occupants. When rain comes on, the man puts up the 
hood, and ties you and it closely up in a covering of oiled 
paper, in which you are invisible. At night, whether running 
or standing still, they carry prettily-painted circular paper 
lanterns 18 inches long. It is most comical to see stout, 
florid, solid-looking merchants, missionaries, male and female, 
fashionably-dressed ladies, armed with card cases, Chinese 
compradores, and Japanese peasant men and women flying 
along Main Street, which is like the decent respectable High 
Street of a dozen forgotten country towns in England, in 
happy unconsciousness of the ludicrousness of their appear- 
ance ; racing, chasing, crossing each other, their lean, polite, 
pleasant runners in their great hats shaped like inverted bowls, 
their incomprehensible blue tights, and their short blue over- 
shirts with badges or characters in white upon them, tearing 
along, their yellow faces streaming with perspiration, laughing, 
shouting, and avoiding collisions by a mere shave. 

After a visit to the Consulate I entered a kuruma and, 
with two ladies in two more, was bowled along at a furious 
pace by a laughing little mannikin down Main Street a 
narrow, solid, well-paved street with well-made side walks, 
kerb-stones, and gutters, with iron lamp-posts, gas-lamps, and 
foreign shops all along its length to this quiet hotel recom- 
mended by Sir Wyville Thomson, which offers a refuge from 
the nasal twang of my fellow-voyagers, who have all gone to 
the caravanserais on the Bund. The host is a Frenchman, 
but he relies on a Chinaman; the servants are Japanese 
" boys " in Japanese clothes ; and there is a Japanese " groom 
of the chambers " in faultless English costume, who perfectly 
appals me by the elaborate politeness of his manner. 

Almost as coon as I arrived I was obliged to go in search 
of Mr. Eraser's office in the settlement ; I say search, for there 


are no names on the streets ; where there are numbers they 
have no sequence, and I met no Europeans on foot to help 
me in my difficulty. Yokohama does not improve on further 
acquaintance. It has a dead-alive look. It has irregularity 
without picturesqueness, and the grey sky, grey sea, grey 
houses, and grey roofs, look harmoniously dull. No foreign 
money except the Mexican dollar passes in Japan, and Mr. 
Eraser's compradore soon metamorphosed my English gold 
into Japanese salsu or paper money, a bundle of yen nearly at 
par just now with the dollar, packets of 50, 20, and 10 sen 
notes, and some rouleaux of very neat copper coins. The 
initiated recognise the different denominations of paper money 
at a glance by their differing colours and sizes, but at present 
they are a distracting mystery to me. The notes are pieces 
of stiff paper with Chinese characters at the corners, near 
which, with exceptionally good eyes or a magnifying glass, one 
can discern an English word denoting the value. They are 
very neatly executed, and are ornamented with the chrysan- 
themum crest of the Mikado and the interlaced dragons of 
the Empire. 

I long to get away into real Japan. Mr. Wilkinson, 
H.B.M.'s acting consul, called yesterday, and was extremely 
kind. He thinks that my plan for travelling in the interior is 
rather too ambitious, but that it is perfectly safe for a lady to 
travel alone, and agrees with everybody else in thinking that 
legions of fleas and the miserable horses are the great draw- 
backs of Japanese travelling. 

I. L. B. 



Sir Harry Parkes An "Ambassador's Carriage" Cart Coolies. 

YOKOHAMA, May 22. 

TO-DAY has been spent in making new acquaintances, insti- 
tuting a search for a servant and a pony, receiving many offers 
of help, asking questions and receiving from different people 
answers which directly contradict each other. Hours are early. 
Thirteen people called on me before noon. Ladies drive them- 
selves about the town in small pony carriages attended by 
running grooms called bettos. The foreign merchants keep 
kurumas constantly standing at their doors, finding a willing, 
intelligent coolie much more serviceable than a lazy, fractious, 
capricious Japanese pony, and even the dignity of an "Am- 
bassador Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary" is not 
above such a lowly conveyance, as I have seen to-day. My 
last visitors were Sir Harry and Lady Parkes, who brought 
sunshine and kindliness into the room, and left it behind 
them. Sir Harry is a young-looking man scarcely in middle 
life, slight, active, fair, blue-eyed, a thorough Saxon, with sunny 
hair and a sunny smile, a sunshiny geniality in his manner, 
and bearing no trace in his appearance of his thirty years of 
service in the East, his sufferings in the prison at Peking, and 
the various attempts upon his life in Japan. He and Lady 
Parkes were most truly kind, and encourage me so heartily in 
my largest projects for travelling in the interior, that I shall 
start as soon as I have secured a servant. When they went 
away they jumped into kurumas, and it was most amusing to 
see the representative of England hurried down the street in a 
perambulator with a tandem of coolies. 

As I look out of the window I see heavy, two-wheeled man- 
carts drawn and pushed by four men each, on which nearly all 



goods, stones for building, and all else, are carried. The two 
men who pull press with hands and thighs against a cross-har 
at the end of a heavy pole, and the two who push apply their 
shoulders to beams which project behind, using their thick, 
smoothly-shaven skulls as the motive power when they push 
their heavy loads uphill. Their cry is impressive and melan- 
choly. They draw incredible loads, but, as if the toil which 
often makes every breath a groan or a gasp were not enough, 
they shout incessantly with a coarse, guttural grunt, something 
like Ha huida, Ho huida, wa /to, Ha huida, etc. 

I. L. B. 


B 2 



Yedo and T6kiy6 The Yokohama Railroad The Effect of Misfits The Plain 
of Yedo Personal Peculiarities First Impressions ol T6kiy6 H. B.M. 's 
Legation An English Home. 

H.B.M.'s LEGATION, YEDO, May 24. 

I HAVE dated my letter Yedo, according to the usage of the 
British Legation, but popularly the new name of Tokiyo, or 
Eastern Capital, is used, Kiyoto, tae Mikado's former residence, 
having received the name of Saikio, or Western Capital, though 
it has now no claim to be regarded as a capital at all. Yedo 
belongs to the old regime and the Shogunate, Tokiyo to the 
new regime and the Restoration, with their history of ten years. 
It would seem an incongruity to travel to Yedo by railway, but 
quite proper when the destination is Tokiyo. 

The journey between the two cities is performed in an hour 
by an admirable, well-metalled, double-track railroad, 18 miles 
Vang, with iron bridges, neat stations, and substantial roomy 
termini, built by English engineers at a cost known only to 
Government, and opened by the Mikado in 1872. The 
Yokohama station is a handsome and suitable stone building, 
with a spacious approach, ticket-offices on our plan, roomy 
waiting-rooms for different classes uncarpeted, however, in 
consideration of Japanese clogs and supplied with the daily 
papers. There is a department for the weighing and labelling 
of luggage, and on the broad, covered, stone platform at both 
termini a barrier with turnstiles, through which, except by 
special favour, no ticketless person 'can pass. Except the 
ticket-clerks, who are Chinese, and the guards and engine- 
drivers, who are English, the officials are Japanese in European 
dress. Outside the stations, instead of cabs, there are kurumas, 
which carry luggage as well as people. Only luggage in the 


hand is allowed to go free ; the rest is weighed, numbered, and 
charged for, a corresponding number being given to its owner 
to present at his destination. The fares are 3d class, an ichibu, 
or about is.; 2d class, 60 sen, or about 25. 4d. ; and ist class, 
a yen, or about 35. 8d. The tickets are collected as the pas- 
sengers pass through the barrier at the end of the journey. The 
English-built cars differ from ours in having seats along the 
sides, and doors opening on platforms at both ends. On the 
whole, the arrangements are Continental rather than British. 
The first-class cars are expensively fitted up with deeply- 
cushioned, red morocco seats, but carry very few passengers, 
and the comfortable seats, covered with fine matting, of the 2d 
class are very scantily occupied ; but the 3d class vans are 
crowded with Japanese, who have taken to railroads as readily 
as to kurumas. This line earns about $8,000,000 a year. 

The Japanese look most diminutive in European dress. 
Each garment is a misfit, and exaggerates the miserable 
physique and the national defects of concave chests and bow 
legs. The lack of " complexion " and of hair upon the face 
makes it nearly impossible to judge of the ages of men. I 
supposed that all the railroad officials were striplings of 17 or 
1 8, but they are men from 25 to 40 years old. 

It was a beautiful day, like an English June day, but 
hotter, and though the Sakura (wild cherry) and its kin, which 
are the glory of the Japanese spring, are over, everything is a 
young, fresh green yet, and in all the beauty of growth and 
luxuriance. The immediate neighbourhood of Yokohama is 
beautiful, with abrupt wooded hills, and small picturesque 
valleys ; but after passing Kanagawa the railroad enters upon 
the immense plain of Yedo, said to be 90 miles from north 
to south, on whose northern and western boundaries faint blue 
mountains of great height hovered dreamily in the blue haze, 
and on whose eastern shore for many miles the clear blue wave- 
lets of the Gulf of Yedo ripple, always as then, brightened by 
the white sails of innumerable fishing-boats. On this fertile and 
fruitful plain stand not only the capital, with its million of in- 
habitants, but a number of populous cities, and several hundred 
thriving agricultural villages. Every foot of land which can 
be seen from the railroad is cultivated by the most careful 
spade husbandry, and much of it is irrigated for rice. Streams 


abound, and villages of grey wooden houses with grey thatch, 
and grey temples with strangely curved roofs, are scattered 
thickly over the landscape. It is all homelike, liveable, and 
pretty, the country of an industrious people, for not a weed is 
to be seen, but no very striking features or peculiarities arrest 
one at first sight, unless it be the crowds everywhere. 

You don't take your ticket for Tokiyo, but for Shinagawa or 
Shinbashi, two of the many villages which have grown together 
into the capital. Yedo is hardly seen before Shinagawa is 
reached, for it has no smoke and no long chimneys ; its 
temples and public buildings are seldom lofty; the former 
are often concealed among thick trees, and its ordinary houses 
seldom reach a height of 20 feet. On the right a blue sea 
with fortified islands upon it, wooded gardens with massive 
retaining walls, hundreds of fishing -boats lying in creeks or 
drawn up on the beach ; on the left a broad road on which 
kurumas are hurrying both ways, rows of low, grey houses, 
mostly tea-houses and shops ; and as I was asking " Where is 
Yedo?" the train came to rest in the terminus, the Shinbashi 
railroad station, and disgorged its 200 Japanese passengers 
with a combined clatter of 400 clogs a new sound to me. 
These clogs add three inches to their height, but even with 
them few of the men attained 5 feet 7 inches, and few of the 
women 5 feet 2 inches; but they look far broader in the 
national costume, which also conceals the defects of their 
figures. So lean, so yellow, so ugly, yet so pleasant-looking, so 
wanting in colour and effectiveness ; the women so very small 
and tottering in their walk ; the children so formal-looking 
and such dignified burlesques on the adults, I feel as if I had 
seen them all before, so like are they to their pictures on 
trays, fans, and tea-pots. The hair of the women is all drawn 
away from their faces, and is worn in chignons, and the men, 
when they don't shave the front of their heads and gather 
their back hair into a quaint queue drawn forward over the 
shaven patch, wear their coarse hair about three inches long 
in a refractory undivided mop. 

Davies, an orderly from the Legation, met me, one of the 
escort cut down and severely wounded when Sir H. Parkes was 
attacked in the street of Kiyoto in March 1868 on his way to 
his first audience of the Mikado. Hundreds of kurumas, and 


covered carts with four wheels drawn by one miserable horse, 
which are the omnibuses of certain districts of Tokiyo, were 
waiting outside the station, and an English brougham for me, 
with a running betto. The Legation stands in Kojimachi on 
very elevated ground above the inner moat of the historic 
" Castle of Yedo," but I cannot tell you anything of what I 
saw on my way thither, except that there were miles of dark, 
silent, barrack-like buildings, with highly ornamental gateways, 
and long rows of projecting windows with screens made of 
reeds the feudal mansions of Yedo and miles of moats 
with lofty grass embankments or walls of massive masonry 50 
feet high, with kiosk-like towers at the corners, and curious, 
roofed gateways, and many bridges, and acres of lotus leaves. 
Turning along the inner moat, up a steep slope, there are, on 
the right, its deep green waters, the great grass embankment 
surmounted by a dismal wall overhung by the branches of 
coniferous trees which surrounded the palace of the Shogun, 
and on the left sundry yashikis, as the mansions of the 
daimiyd were called, now in this quarter mostly turned into 
hospitals, barracks, and Government offices. On a height, 
the most conspicuous of them all, is the great red gateway of 
the yashiki, now occupied by the French Military Mission, 
formerly the residence of li Kamon no Kami, one of the great 
actors in recent historic events, who was assassinated not far 
off, outside the Sakaruda gate of the castle. Besides these, 
barracks, parade-grounds, policemen, kurumas, carts pulled 
and pushed by coolies, pack-horses in straw sandals, and 
dwarfish, slatternly-looking soldiers in European dress, made 
up the Tokiyo that I saw between Shinbashi and the Legation. 

H.B.M.'s Legation has a good situation near the Foreign 
Office, several of the Government departments, and the 
residences of the ministers, which are chiefly of brick in the 
English suburban villa style. Within the compound, with a 
brick archway with the Royal Arms upon it for an entrance, 
are the Minister's residence, the Chancery, two houses for the 
two English Secretaries of Legation, and quarters for the 

It is an English house and an English home, though, 
with the exception of a venerable nurse, there are no English 
servants. The butler and footman are tall Chinamen, with 


long pig- tails, black satin caps, and long blue robes ; the cook 
is a Chinaman, and the other servants are all Japanese, including 
one female servant, a sweet, gentle, kindly girl about 4 feet 5 
in height, the wife of the head " housemaid." None of the 
servants speak anything but the most aggravating " pidgun " 
English, but their deficient speech is more than made up for 
by the intelligence and service of the orderly in waiting, who 
is rarely absent from the neighbourhood of the hall door, 
and attends to the visitors' book and to all messages and 
notes. There are two real English children of six and seven, 
with great capacities for such innocent enjoyments as can be 
found within the limits of the nursery and garden. The 
other inmate of the house is a beautiful and attractive terrier 
called " Rags," a Skye dog, who unbends " in the bosom of 
his family," but ordinarily is as imposing in his demeanour 
as if he, and not his master, represented the dignity of the 
British Empire. 

The Japanese Secretary of Legation is Mr. Ernest Satow, 
whose reputation for scholarship, especially in the department 
of history, is said by the Japanese themselves to be the highest 
in Japan 1 an honourable distinction for an Englishman, and 
won by the persevering industry of fifteen years. The scholar- 
ship connected with the British Civil Service is not, however, 
monopolised by Mr. Satow, for several gentlemen in the 
consular service, who are passing through the various grades 
of student interpreters, are distinguishing themselves not alone 
by their facility in colloquial Japanese, but by their researches 
in various departments of Japanese history, mythology, archaeo- 
logy, and literature. Indeed it is to their labours, and to those 
of a few other Englishmen and Germans, that the Japanese 
of the rising generation will be indebted for keeping alive not 
only the knowledge of their archaic literature, but even of the 
manners and customs of the first half of this century. 

I. L. B. 

1 Often in the later months of my residence in Japan, when I asked edu- 
cated Japanese questions concerning their history, religions, or ancient customs, 
I was put off with the answer, "Yoi: should ask Mr. Satow, he could tell you." 



" John Chinaman " Engaging a Servant First Impressions of Ito A 
Solemn Contract The Food Question. 

June 7. 

I WENT to Yokohama for a week to visit Dr. and Mrs. Hepburn 
on the Bluff. Bishop and Mrs. Burdon of Hong Kong were 
also guests, and it was very pleasant. 

One cannot be a day in Yokohama without seeing quite a 
different class of orientals from the small, thinly-dressed, and 
usually poor-looking Japanese. Of the 2500 Chinamen who 
reside in Japan, over 1 1 oo are in Yokohama, and if they were 
suddenly removed, business would come to an abrupt halt. 
Here, as everywhere, the Chinese immigrant is making himself 
indispensable. He walks through the streets with his swinging 
gait and air of complete self-complacency, as though he 
belonged to the ruling race. He is tall and big, and his 
many garments, with a handsome brocaded robe over all, his 
satin pantaloons, of which not much is seen, tight at the 
ankles, and his high shoes, whose black satin tops are slightly 
turned up at the toes, make him look even taller and bigger 
than he is. His head is mostly shaven, but the hair at the 
back is plaited with a quantity of black purse twist into a 
queue which reaches to his knees, above which, set well back, 
he wears a stiff, black satin skull-cap, without which he is 
never seen. His face is very yellow, his long dark eyes and 
eyebrows slope upwards towards his temples, he has not the 
vestige of a beard, and his skin is shiny. He looks thoroughly 
" well-to-do." He is not unpleasing-looking, but you feel that 
as a Celestial he looks down upon you. If you ask a question 
in a merchant's office, or change your gold into satsu, or take 


your railroad or steamer ticket, or get change in a shop, the 
inevitable Chinaman appears. In the street he swings past 
you with a purpose in his face ; as he flies past you in a 
kuruma he is bent on business ; he is sober and reliable, and 
is content to " squeeze " his employer rather than to rob him 
his one aim in life is money. For this he is industrious, 
faithful, self-denying ; and he has his reward. 

Several of my kind new acquaintances interested themselves 
about the (to me) vital matter of a servant interpreter, and 
many Japanese came to " see after the place." The speaking 
of intelligible English is a sine qua non, and it was wonderful 
to find the few words badly pronounced and worse put 
together, which were regarded by the candidates as a sufficient 
qualification. Can you speak English ? " Yes." What wages 
do you ask ? " Twelve dollars a month." This was always 
said glibly, and in each case sounded hopeful. Whom have 
you lived with ? A foreign name distorted out of all recogni- 
tion, as was natural, was then given. Where have you travelled? 
This question usually had to be translated into Japanese, and 
the usual answer was, "The Tokaido, the Nakasendo, to 
Kiyoto, to Nikko," naming the beaten tracks of countless 
tourists. Do you know anything of Northern Japan and the 
Hokkaido? "No," with a blank wondering look. At this 
stage in every case Dr. Hepburn compassionately stepped in 
as interpreter, for their stock of English was exhausted. Three 
were regarded as promising. One was a sprightly youth who 
came in a well-made European suit of light-coloured tweed, a 
laid-down collar, a tie with a diamond (?) pin, and a white 
shirt, so stiffly starched, that he could hardly bend low enough 
for a bow even of European profundity. He wore a gilt 
watch-chain with a locket, the corner of a very white cambric 
pocket-handkerchief dangled from his breast pocket, and he 
held a cane and a felt hat in his hand. He was a Japanese 
dandy of the first water. I looked at him ruefully. To me 
starched collars are to be an unknown luxury for the next 
three months. His fine foreign clothes would enhance prices 
everywhere in the interior, and besides that, I should feel a 
perpetual difficulty in asking menial services from an exquisite. 
I was therefore quite relieved when his English broke down at 
the second question. 


The second was a most respectable-looking man of thirty- 
five in a good Japanese dress. He was highly recommended, 
and his first English words were promising, but he had been 
cook in the service of a wealthy English official who travelled 
with a large retinue, and sent servants on ahead to prepare the 
way. He knew really only a few words of English, and his 
horror at finding that there was " no master," and that there 
would be no woman-servant, was so great, that I hardly know 
whether he rejected me or I him. 

The third, sent by Mr. Wilkinson, wore a plain Japanese 
dress, and had a frank, intelligent face. Though Dr. Hepburn 
spoke with him in Japanese, he thought that he knew more 
English than the others, and that what he knew would come 
out when he was less agitated. He evidently understood what 
I said, and, though I had a suspicion that he would turn out 
to be the "master," I thought him so prepossessing that I 
nearly engaged him on the spot. None of the others merit 
any remark. 

However, when I had nearly made up my mind in his 
favour, a creature appeared without any recommendation at all, 
except that one of Dr. Hepburn's servants was acquainted 
with him. He is only eighteen, but this is equivalent to 
twenty-three or twenty-four with us, and only 4 feet 10 inches 
in height, but, though bandy-legged, is well proportioned and 
strong -looking. He has a round and singularly plain face, 
good teeth, much elongated eyes, and the heavy droop of his 
eyelids almost caricatures the usual Japanese peculiarity. 
He is the most stupid-looking Japanese that I have seen, but, 
from a rapid, furtive glance in his eyes now and then, I think 
that the stolidity is partly assumed. He said that he had 
lived at the American Legation, that he had been a clerk on 
the Osaka railroad, that he had travelled through northern 
Japan by the eastern route, and in Yezo with Mr. Maries, a 
botanical collector, that he understood drying plants, that he 
could cook a little, that he could write English, that he could 
walk twenty-five miles a day, and that he thoroughly under- 
stood getting through the interior! This would-be paragon 
had no recommendations, and accounted for this by saying 
that they had been burned in a recent fire in his father's house. 
Mr. Maries was not forthcoming, and more than this, I sus- 


pected and disliked the boy. However, he understood my 
English and I his, and, being very anxious to begin my travels, 
I engaged him for twelve dollars a month, and soon afterwards 
he came back with a contract, in which he declares by all that 
he holds most sacred that he will serve me faithfully for the 
wages agreed upon, and to this document he affixed his seal 
and I my name. The next day he asked me for a month's 
wages in advance, which I gave him, but Dr. H. consolingly 
suggested that I should never see him again ! 

Ever since the solemn night when the contract was signed 
I have felt under an incubus, and since he appeared here 
yesterday, punctual to the appointed hour, I have felt as if I 
had a veritable " old man of the sea " upon my shoulders. 
He flies up stairs and along the corridors as noiselessly as a 
cat, and already knows where I keep all my things. Nothing 
surprises or abashes him, he bows profoundly to Sir Harry and 
Lady Parkes when he encounters them, but is obviously " quite 
at home " in a Legation, and only allowed one of the orderlies 
to show him how to put on a Mexican saddle and English 
bridle out of condescension to my wishes. He seems as sharp 
or " smart" as can be, and has already arranged for the first three 
days of my journey. His name is Ito, and you will doubtless 
hear much more of him, as he will be my good or evil genius 
for the next three months. 

As no English lady has yet travelled alone through the 
interior, my project excites a very friendly interest among my 
friends, and I receive much warning and dissuasion, and a 
little encouragement. The strongest, because the most intelli- 
gent, dissuasion comes from Dr. Hepburn, who thinks that I 
ought not to undertake the journey, and that I shall never get 
through to the Tsugaru Strait. If I accepted much of the 
advice given to me, as to taking tinned meats and soups, 
claret, and a Japanese maid, I should need a train of at least 
six pack-horses ! As to fleas, there is a lamentable concensus 
of opinion that they are the curse of Japanese travelling during 
the summer, and some people recommend me to sleep in a 
bag drawn tightly round the throat, others to sprinkle my 
bedding freely with insect powder, others to smear the skin all 
over with carbolic oil, and some to make a plentiful use of 
dried and powdered flea-bane. All admit, however, that these 


are but feeble palliatives. Hammocks unfortunately cannot 
be used in Japanese houses. 

The " Food Question" is said to be the most important one 
for all travellers, and it is discussed continually with startling 
earnestness, not alone as regards my tour. However apathetic 
people are on other subjects, the mere mention of this one 
rouses them into interest. All have suffered or may suffer, and 
every one wishes to impart his own experience or to learn from 
that of others. Foreign ministers, professors, missionaries, 
merchants all discuss it with becoming gravity as a question 
of life and death, which by many it is supposed to be. The 
fact is that, except at a few hotels in popular resorts which are 
got up for foreigners, bread, butter, milk, meat, poultry, coffee, 
wine, and beer, are unattainable, that fresh fish is rare, and 
that unless one can live on rice, tea, and eggs, with the addition 
now and then of some tasteless fresh vegetables, food must 
be taken, as the fishy and vegetable abominations known as 
"Japanese food" can only be swallowed and digested by a 
few, and that after long practice. 1 

Another, but far inferior, difficulty on which much stress is 
laid is the practice common among native servants of getting 
a " squeeze " out of every money transaction on the road, so 
that the cost of travelling is often doubled, and sometimes 
trebled, according to the skill and capacity of the servant. 
Three gentlemen who have travelled extensively have given 
me lists of the prices which I ought to pay, varying in different 
districts, and largely increased on the beaten track of tourists, 
and Mr. Wilkinson has read these to I to, who offered an 
occasional remonstrance. Mr. W. remarked after the con- 
versation, which was in Japanese, that he thought I should 
have to " look sharp after money matters " a painful prospect, 
as I have never been able to manage anybody in my life, and 
shall surely have no control over this clever, cunning Japanese 
youth, who on most points will be able to deceive me as he 

On returning here I found that Lady Parkes had made 

1 After several months of travelling in some of the roughest parts of the 
interior, I should advise a person in average health and none other should 
travel in Japan not to encumber himself with tinned meats, soups, claret, or 
any eatables or drinkables, except Liebig's extract of meat 


most of the necessary preparations for me, and that they include 
two light baskets with covers of oiled paper, a travelling bed 
or stretcher, a folding-chair, and an india-rubber bath, all which 
she considers as necessaries for a person in feeble health on a 
journey of such long duration. This week has been spent in 
making acquaintances in Tokiyo, seeing some characteristic 
sights, and in trying to get light on my tour ; but little seems 
known by foreigners of northern Japan, and a Government 
department, on being applied to, returned an itinerary, leaving 
out 140 miles of the route that I dream of taking, on the 
ground of "insufficient information," on which Sir Harry 
cheerily remarked, " You will have to get your information as 
you go along, and that will be all the more interesting." Ah ! 
but how ? I. L. B. 




Kwan-non Temple Uniformity of Temple Architecture A Kuruma Expedi- 
tion A Perpetual Festival The Ni-6 The Limbo of Vanity Heathen 
Prayers Binzuru A Group of Devils Archery Galleries New Japan 
An &Ugante. 

June 9. 

ONCE for all I will describe a Buddhist temple, and it shall 
be the popular temple of Asakusa, which keeps fair and festival 
the whole year round, and is dedicated to the " thousand- 
armed " Kwan-non, the goddess of mercy. Writing generally, 
it may be said that in design, roof, and general aspect, 
Japanese Buddhist temples are all alike. The sacred archi- 
tectural idea expresses itself in nearly the same form always. 
There is a single or double-roofed gateway, with highly- 
coloured figures in niches on either side ; the paved temple- 
court, with more or fewer stone or bronze lanterns ; amainu, or 
heavenly dogs, in stone on stone pedestals ; stone sarcophagi, 
roofed over or not, for holy water ; a flight of steps ; a por- 
tico, continued as a verandah all round the temple ; a roof 
of tremendously disproportionate size and weight, with a 
peculiar curve ; a square or oblong hall divided by a railing 
from a " chancel " with a high and low altar, and a shrine 
containing Buddha, or the divinity to whom the chapel is 
dedicated ; an incense-burner, and a few ecclesiastical orna- 
ments. The symbols, idols, and adornments depend upon 
the sect to which the temple belongs, or the wealth of its 
votaries, or the fancy of the priests. Some temples are packed 
full of gods, shrines, banners, bronzes, brasses, tablets, and 
ornaments, and others, like those of the Monto sect, are so 
severely simple, that with scarcely an alteration they might be 
used for Christian worship to-morrow. 


The foundations consist of square stones on which the 
uprights rest. These are of elm, and are united at intervals 
by longitudinal pieces. The great size and enormous weight 
of the roofs arise from the trusses being formed of one heavy 
frame being built upon another in diminishing squares till the 
top is reached, the main beams being formed of very large 
timbers put on in their natural state. They are either very 
heavily and ornamentally tiled, or covered with sheet copper 
ornamented with gold, or thatched to a depth of from one to 
three feet, with fine shingles or bark. The casing of the walls 
on the outside is usually thick elm planking either lacquered 
or unpainted, and that of the inside is of thin, finely-planed 
and bevelled planking of the beautiful wood of the Retino- 
spora obtusa. The lining of the roof is in flat panels, and 
where it is supported by pillars they are invariably circular, 
and formed of the straight, finely-grained stem of the Retino- 
spora obtusa. The projecting ends of the roof-beams under the 
eaves are either elaborately carved, lacquered in dull red, or 
covered with copper, as are the joints of the beams. Very 
few nails are used, the timbers being very beautifully joined 
by mortices and dovetails, other methods of junction being 

Mr. Chamberlain and I went in a kuruma hurried along 
by three liveried coolies, through the three miles of crowded 
streets which lie between the Legation and Asakusa, once a 
village, but now incorporated with this monster city, to the 
broad street leading to the Adzuma Bridge over the Sumida 
river, one of the few stone bridges in Tokiyo, which connects 
east Tokiyo, an uninteresting region, containing many canals, 
storehouses, timber-yards, and inferior yashikis^ with the rest 
of the city. This street, marvellously thronged with pedes- 
trians and kurumas, is the terminus of a number of city " stage 
lines," and twenty wretched-looking covered waggons, with 
still more wretched ponies, were drawn up in the middle, 
waiting for passengers. Just there plenty of real Tokiyo life 
is to be seen, for near a shrine of popular pilgrimage there are 
always numerous places of amusement, innocent and vicious, 
and the vicinity of this temple is full of restaurants, tea-houses, 
minor theatres, and the resorts of dancing and singing 


A broad-paved avenue, only open to foot passengers, leads 
from this street to the grand entrance, a colossal two-storied 
double-roofed mon, or gate, painted a rich dull red. On either 
side of this avenue are lines of booths which make a brilliant 
and lavish display of their contents toy -shops, shops for 
smoking apparatus, and shops for the sale of ornamental hair- 
pins predominating. Nearer the gate are booths for the sale 
of rosaries for prayer, sleeve and bosom idols of brass and 
wood in small shrines, amulet bags, representations of the 
jolly-looking Daikoku, the god of wealth, the most popular of 
the household gods of Japan, shrines, memorial tablets, cheap 
ex votos, sacred bells, candlesticks, and incense-burners, and 
all the endless and various articles connected with Buddhist 
devotion, public and private. Every day is a festival-day at 
Asakusa ; the temple is dedicated to the most popular of 
the great divinities ; it is the most popular of religious resorts ; 
and whether he be Buddhist, Shintoist, or Christian, no 
stranger comes to the capital without making a visit to its 
crowded courts or a purchase at its tempting booths. Not to 
be an exception, I invested in bouquets of firework flowers, 
fifty flowers for 2 sen, or id., each of which, as it slowly con- 
sumes, throws off fiery coruscations, shaped like the most 
beautiful of snow crystals. I was also tempted by small 
boxes at 2 sen each, containing what look like little slips of 
withered pith, but which, on being dropped into water, expand 
into trees and flowers. 

Down a paved passage on the right there is an artificial 
river, not over clean, with a bridge formed of one curved 
stone, from which a flight of steps leads up to a small temple 
with a magnificent bronze bell. At the entrance several 
women were praying. In the same direction are two fine 
bronze Buddhas, seated figures, one with clasped hands, the 
other holding a lotus, both with " The light of the world " 
upon their brows. The grand red gateway into the actual 
temple courts has an extremely imposing effect, and besides, it 
is the portal to the first great heathen temple that I have seen, 
and it made me think of another temple whose courts were 
equally crowded with buyers and sellers, and of a " whip of 
small cords" in the hand of One who claimed both the temple 
and its courts as His " Father's House." Not with less 


righteous wrath would the gentle founder of Buddhism purify 
the unsanctified courts of Asakusa. Hundreds of men, 
women, and children passed to and fro through the gateway 
in incessant streams, and so they are passing through every 
daylight hour of every day in the year, thousands becoming 
tens of thousands on the great matsuri days, when the 
mikoshi, or sacred car, containing certain symbols of the god, 
is exhibited, and after sacred mimes and dances have been 
performed, is carried in a magnificent, antique procession 
to the shore and back again. Under the gateway on either 
side are the Ni-d, or two kings, gigantic figures in flowing 
robes, one red and with an open mouth, representing the Yo, 
or male principle of Chinese philosophy, the other green 
and with the mouth firmly closed, representing the In, or 
female principle. They are hideous creatures, with protruding 
eyes, and faces and figures distorted and corrupted into a 
high degree of exaggerated and convulsive action. These 
figures guard the gates of most of the larger temples, and 
small prints of them are pasted over the doors of houses to 
protect them against burglars. Attached to the grating in 
front were a number of straw sandals, hung up by people who 
pray that their limbs may be as muscular as those of the Ni-d. 

Passing through this gate we were in the temple court 
proper, and in front of the temple itself, a building of imposing 
height and size, of a dull red colour, with a grand roof of 
heavy iron grey tiles, with a sweeping curve which gives grace 
as well as grandeur. The timbers and supports are solid and 
of great size, but, in common with all Japanese temples, 
whether Buddhist or Shinto, the edifice is entirely of wood. 
A broad flight of narrow, steep, brass-bound steps lead up to 
the porch, which is formed by a number of circular pillars 
supporting a very lofty roof, from which paper lanterns ten 
feet long are hanging. A gallery runs from this round the 
temple, under cover of the eaves. There is an outer temple, 
unmatted, and an inner one behind a grating, into which 
those who choose to pay for the privilege of praying in com- 
parative privacy, or of having prayers said for them by the 
priests, can pass. 

In the outer temple the noise, confusion, and perpetual 
motion, are bewildering. Crowds on clattering clogs pass in 


and out ; pigeons, of which hundreds live in the porch, fly over 
your head, and the whirring of their wings mingles with the 
tinkling of bells, the beating of drums and gongs, the high- 
pitched drone of the priests, the low murmur of prayers, the 
rippling laughter of girls, the harsh voices of men, and the 
general buzz of a multitude. There is very much that is 
highly grotesque at first sight. Men squat on the floor 
selling amulets, rosaries, printed prayers, incense sticks, and 
other wares. Ex votos of all kinds hang on the wall and on 
the great round pillars. Many of these are rude Japanese 
pictures. The subject of one is the blowing-up of a steamer 
in the Sumidagawa with the loss of 100 lives, when the donor 
was saved by the grace of Kwan-non. Numbers of memorials 
are from people who offered up prayers here, and have 
been restored to health or wealth. Others are from junk 
men whose lives have been in peril. There are scores of men's 
queues and a few dusty braids of women's hair offered on 
account of vows or prayers, usually for sick relatives, and 
among them all, on the left hand, are a large mirror in a gaudily 
gilt frame and a framed picture of the P. M. S. China ! Above 
this incongruous collection are splendid wood carvings and 
frescoes of angels, among which the pigeons find a home 
free from molestation. 

Near the entrance there is a superb incense-burner in the 
most massive style of the older bronzes, with a mythical beast 
rampant upon it, and in high relief round it the Japanese 
signs of the zodiac the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, serpent, 
horse, goat, monkey, cock, dog, and hog. Clouds of incense 
rise continually from the perforations round the edge, and a 
black -toothed woman who keeps it burning is perpetually 
receiving small coins from the worshippers, who then pass on 
to the front of the altar to pray. The high altar, and indeed 
all that I should regard as properly the temple, are protected 
by a screen of coarsely-netted iron wire. This holy of holies 
is full of shrines and gods, gigantic candlesticks, colossal 
lotuses of gilded silver, offerings, lamps, lacquer, litany books, 
gongs, drums, bells, and all the mysterious symbols of a faith 
which is a system of morals and metaphysics to the educated 
and initiated, and an idolatrous superstition to the masses. 
In this interior the light was dim, the lamps burned low, the 


atmosphere was heavy with incense, and amidst its fumes 
shaven priests in chasubles and stoles moved noiselessly over 
the soft matting round the high altar on which Kwan-non is 
enshrined, lighting candles, striking bells, and murmuring 
prayers. In front of the screen is the treasury, a wooden 
chest 14 feet by 10, with a deep slit, into which all the 
worshippers cast copper coins with a ceaseless clinking sound. 

There, too, they pray, if that can be called prayer which 
frequently consists only in the repetition of an uncomprehended 
phrase in a foreign tongue, bowing the head, raising the hands 
and rubbing them, murmuring a few words, telling beads, 
clapping the hands, bowing again, and then passing out or on 
to another shrine to repeat the same form. Merchants in silk 
clothing, soldiers in shabby French uniforms, farmers, coolies 
in "vile raiment," mothers, maidens, swells in European 
clothes, even the samurai policemen, bow before the goddess 
of mercy. Most of the prayers were offered rapidly, a mere 
momentary interlude in the gurgle of careless talk, and without 
a pretence of reverence ; but some of the petitioners obviously 
brought real woes in simple "faith." 

In one shrine there is a large idol, spotted all over with 
pellets of paper, and hundreds of these are sticking to the 
wire netting which protects him. A worshipper writes his 
petition on paper, or, better still, has it written for him by the 
priest, chews it to a pulp, and spits it at the divinity. If, 
having been well aimed, it passes through the wire and sticks, 
it is a good omen, if it lodges in the netting the prayer has 
probably been unheard. The Ni-6 and some of the gods 
outside the temple are similarly disfigured. On the left there 
is a shrine with a screen, to the bars of which innumerable 
prayers have been tied. On the right, accessible to all, sits 
Binzuru, one of Buddha's original sixteen disciples. His face 
and appearance have been calm and amiable, with something 
of the quiet dignity of an elderly country gentleman of the 
reign of George III.; but he is now worn and defaced, and 
has not much more of eyes, nose, and mouth than the 
Sphinx ; and the polished, red lacquer has disappeared from 
his hands and feet, for Binzuru is a great medicine god, and 
centuries of sick people have rubbed his face and limbs, and 
then have rubbed their own. A young woman went up to 


him, rubbed the back of his neck, and then rubbed her own. 
Then a modest-looking girl, leading an ancient woman with 
badly inflamed eyelids and paralysed arms, rubbed his eyelids, 
and then gently stroked the closed eyelids of the crone. 
Then a coolie, with a swelled knee, applied himself vigorously 
to Binzuru's knee, and more gently to his own. Remember, 
this is the great temple of the populace, and " not many rich, 
not many noble, not many mighty," enter its dim, dirty, 
crowded halls. 1 

But the great temple to Kwan-non is not the only sight of 
Asakusa. Outside it are countless shrines and temples, huge 
stone Amainu, or heavenly dogs, on rude blocks of stone, 
large cisterns of stone and bronze with and without canopies, 
containing water for the ablutions of the worshippers, cast 
iron Amainu on hewn stone pedestals a recent gift bronze 
and stone lanterns, a stone prayer -wheel in a stone post, 
figures of Buddha with the serene countenance of one who 
rests from his labours, stone idols, on which devotees have 
pasted slips of paper inscribed with prayers, with sticks of 
incense rising out of the ashes of hundreds of former sticks 
smouldering before them, blocks of hewn stone with Chinese 
and Sanskrit inscriptions, an eight-sided temple in which are 
figures of the " Five Hundred Disciples " of Buddha, a temple 
with the roof and upper part of the walls richly coloured, the 
circular Shinto mirror in an inner shrine, a bronze treasury 
outside with a bell, which is rung to attract the god's attention, 
a striking five-storied pagoda, with much red lacquer, and the 
ends of the roof-beams very boldly carved, its heavy eaves 
fringed with wind bells, and its uppermost roof terminating in 
a graceful copper spiral of great height, with the " sacred 
pearl " surrounded by flames for its finial. Near it, as near 
most temples, is an upright frame of plain wood with tablets, 
on which are inscribed the names of donors to the temple, 
and the amount of their gifts. 

There is a handsome stone-floored temple to the south- 
east of the main building, to which we were the sole visitors. 

1 I visited this temple alone many times afterwards, and each visit deepened 
the interest of my first impressions. There is always enough of change and 
novelty to prevent the interest from flagging, and the mild, but profoundly 
superstitious, form of heathenism which prevails in Japan is nowhere better 



It is lofty and very richly decorated. In the centre is an 
octagonal revolving room, or rather shrine, of rich red lacquer 
most gorgeously ornamented. It rests on a frame of carved 
black lacquer, and has a lacquer gallery running round it, on 
which several richly decorated doors open. On the application 


of several shoulders to this gallery the shrine rotates. It is, 
in fact, a revolving library of the Buddhist Scriptures, and a 
single turn is equivalent to a single pious perusal of them. 
It is an exceedingly beautiful specimen of ancient decorative 
lacquer work. At the back part of the temple is a draped 
brass figure of Buddha, with one hand raised a dignified 
piece of casting. All the Buddhas have Hindoo features, 
and the graceful drapery and oriental repose which have been 
imported from India contrast singularly with the grotesque 
extravagances of the indigenous Japanese conceptions. In 
the same temple are four monstrously extravagant figures 
carved in wood, life-size, with clawed toes on their feet, and 


two great fangs in addition to the teeth in each mouth. The 
heads of all are surrounded with flames, and are backed by 
golden circlets. They are extravagantly clothed in garments 
which look as if they were agitated by a violent wind ; they 
wear helmets and partial suits of armour, and hold in their 
right hands something between a monarch's sceptre and a 
priest's staff. They have goggle eyes and open mouths, and 
their faces are in distorted and exaggerated action. One, 
painted bright red, tramples on a writhing devil painted bright 
pink ; another, painted emerald green, tramples on a sea-green 
devil, an indigo blue monster tramples on a sky-blue fiend, 
and a bright pink monster treads under his clawed feet a 
flesh-coloured demon. I cannot give you any idea of the 
hideousness of their aspect, and was much inclined to sympa- 
thise with the more innocent-looking fiends whom they were 
maltreating. They occur very frequently in Buddhist temples, 
and are said by some to be assistant-torturers to Yemma, the 
lord of hell, and are called by others " The gods of the Four 

The temple grounds are a most extraordinary sight. No 
English fair in the palmiest days of fairs ever presented such 
an array of attractions. Behind the temple are archery 
galleries in numbers, where girls, hardly so modest -looking 
as usual, smile and smirk, and bring straw-coloured tea in 
dainty cups, and tasteless sweetmeats on lacquer trays, and 
smoke their tiny pipes, and offer you bows of slender bamboo 
strips, two feet long, with rests for the arrows, and tiny cherry- 
wood arrows, bone-tipped, and feathered red, blue, and white, 
and smilingly, but quite unobtrusively, ask you to try your 
skill or luck at a target hanging in front of a square drum, 
flanked by red cushions. A click, a boom, or a hardly 
audible "thud," indicate the result. Nearly all the archers 
were grown-up men, and many of them spend hours at a time 
in this childish sport. 

All over the grounds booths with the usual charcoal fire, 
copper boiler, iron kettle of curious workmanship, tiny cups, 
fragrant aroma of tea, and winsome, graceful girls, invite you 
to drink and rest, and more solid but less inviting refreshments 
are also to be had. Rows of pretty paper lanterns decorate 
all the stalls. Then there are photograph galleries, mimic tea- 


gardens, tableaux in which a large number of groups of life- 
size figures with appropriate scenery are put into motion by a 
creaking wheel of great size, matted lounges for rest, stands 
with saucers of rice, beans and peas for offerings to the gods, 
the pigeons, and the two sacred horses, Albino ponies, with 
pink eyes and noses, revoltingly greedy creatures, eating all day 
long and still craving for more. There are booths for singing 
and dancing, and under one a professional story-teller was 
reciting to a densely packed crowd one of the old, popular 
stories of crime. There are booths where for a few rin you 
may have the pleasure of feeding some very ugly and greedy 
apes, or of watching mangy monkeys which have been taught 
to prostrate themselves Japanese fashion. 

This letter is far too long, but to pass over Asakusa and 
its novelties when the impression of them is fresh would be to 
omit one of the most interesting sights in Japan. On the way 
back we passed red mail carts like those in London, a squadron 
of cavalry in European uniforms and with European saddles, 
and the carriage of the Minister of Marine, an English 
brougham with a pair of horses in English harness, and an 
escort of six troopers a painful precaution adopted since the 
political assassination of Okubo, the Home Minister, three 
weeks ago. So the old and the new in this great city contrast 
with and jostle each other. The Mikado and his ministers, 
naval and military officers and men, the whole of the civil 
officials and the police, wear European clothes, as well as a 
number of dissipated -looking young men who aspire to re- 
present "young Japan." Carriages and houses in English 
style, with carpets, chairs, and tables, are becoming increasingly 
numerous, and the bad taste which regulates the purchase of 
foreign furnishings is as marked as the good taste which 
everywhere presides over the adornment of the houses in 
purely Japanese style. Happily these expensive and un- 
becoming innovations have scarcely affected female dress, and 
some ladies who adopted our fashions have given them up 
because of their discomfort and manifold difficulties and 

The Empress on State occasions appears in scarlet satin 
hakama, and flowing robes, and she and the Court ladies in- 
variably wear the national costume. I have only seen two 


ladies in European dress ; and this was at a dinner-party here, 
and they were the wives of Mr. Mori, the go-ahead Vice- 
Minister for Foreign Affairs, and of the Japanese Consul at 
Hong Kong ; and both by long residence abroad have learned 
to wear it with ease. The wife of Saigo, the Minister of 
Education, called one day in an exquisite Japanese dress of 
dove-coloured silk crepe, with a pale pink under-dress of the 
same material, which showed a little at the neck and sleeves. 
Her girdle was of rich dove-coloured silk, with a ghost of a 
pale pink blossom hovering upon it here and there. She had 
no frills or fripperies of any description, or ornaments, except 
a single pin in her chignon, and, with a sweet and charming 
face, she looked as graceful and dignified in her Japanese 
costume as she would have looked exactly the reverse in 
ours. Their costume has one striking advantage over ours. 
A woman is perfectly clothed if she has one garment and a 
girdle on, and perfectly dressed if she has two. There is a 
difference in features and expression much exaggerated, how- 
ever, by Japanese artists between the faces of high-born 
women and those of the middle and lower classes. I decline 
to admire fat faces, pug noses, thick lips, long eyes, turned 
up at the outer corners, and complexions which owe much to 
powder and paint The habit of painting the lips with a 
reddish-yellow pigment, and of heavily powdering the face and 
throat with pearl powder, is a repulsive one. But it is hard 
to pronounce any unfavourable criticism on women who have 
so much kindly grace of manner. I. L. B. 



Fears Travelling Equipments Passports Coolie Costume A Yedo Diorama 
Rice-Fields Tea-Houses A Traveller's Reception The Inn at 
Kasukabe' Lack of Privacy A Concourse of Noises A Nocturnal 
Alarm A Vision of Policemen A Budget from Yedo. 

KASUKAB, June 10. 

FROM the date you will see that I have started on my long 
journey, though not upon the " unbeaten tracks " which I 
hope to take after leaving Nikko, and my first evening alone 
in the midst of this crowded Asian life is strange, almost 
fearful. I have suffered from nervousness all day the fear 
of being frightened, of being rudely mobbed, as threatened by 
Mr. Campbell of Islay, of giving offence by transgressing the 
rules of Japanese politeness of, I know not what ! Ito is 
my sole reliance, and he may prove a "broken reed.'' I 
often wished to give up my project, but was ashamed of my 
cowardice when, on the best authority, I received assurances 
of its safety. 1 

The preparations were finished yesterday, and my outfit 
weighed no Ibs., which, with Ito's weight of 90 Ibs., is as 
much as can be carried by an average Japanese horse. My 
two painted wicker boxes lined with paper and with waterproof 
covers are convenient for the two sides of a pack-horse. I 
have a folding-chair for in a Japanese house there is nothing 
but the floor to sit upon, and not even a solid wall to lean 
against an air-pillow for kuruma travelling, an india-rubber 
bath, sheets, a blanket, and last, and more important than all 
else, a canvas stretcher on light poles, which can be put 

1 The list of my equipments is given as a help to future travellers, especially 
ladies, who desire to travel long distances in the interior of Japan. One 
wicker basket is enough, as I afterwards found. 


together in two minutes; and being 2\ feet high is supposed 
to be secure from fleas. The " Food Question " has been 
solved by a modified rejection of all advice ! I have only 
brought a small supply of Liebig's extract of meat, 4 Ibs. of 
raisins, some chocolate, both for eating and drinking, and 
some brandy in case of need. I have my own Mexican 
saddle and bridle, a reasonable quantity of clothes, including 
a loose wrapper for wearing in the evenings, some candles, 
Mr. Brunton's large map of Japan, volumes of the Transactions 
of the English Asiatic Society, and Mr. Satow's Anglo-Japan- 
ese Dictionary. My travelling dress is a short costume oi 
dust-coloured striped tweed, with strong laced boots of un- 
blacked leather, and a Japanese hat, shaped like a large 
inverted bowl, of light bambpo plait, with a white cotton 
cover, and a very light frame inside, which fits round the 
brow and leaves a space of \\ inches between the hat and the 
head for the free circulation of air. It only weighs 2^ ounces, 
and is infinitely to be preferred to a heavy pith helmet, and, 
light as it is, it protects the head so thoroughly, that, though 
the sun has been unclouded all day and the mercury at 86, 
no other protection has been necessary. My money is in 
bundles of 50 yen, and 50, 20, and 10 sen notes, besides which 
I have some rouleaux of copper coins. I have a bag for my 
passport, which hangs to my waist. All my luggage, with the 
exception of my saddle, which I use for a footstool, goes into 
one kuruma, and Ito, who is limited to 12 Ibs., takes his along 
with him. 

I have three kurumas, which are to go to Nikko, ninety 
miles, in three days, without change of runners, for abouf 
eleven shillings each. 

Passports usually define the route over which the foreignei 
is to travel, but in this case Sir H. Parkes has obtained one 
which is practically unrestricted, for it permits me to travel 
through all Japan north of Tokiyo and in Yezo without speci- 
fying any route. This precious document, without which I 
should be liable to be arrested and forwarded to my consul, is 
of course in Japanese, but the cover gives in English the 
regulations under which it is issued. A passport must be 
applied for, for reasons of "health, botanical research, or 
scientific investigation." Its bearer must not light fires in 



woods, attend fires on horseback, trespass on fields, enclosures, 
or game-preserves, scribble on temples, shrines, or walls, drive 
fast on a narrow road, or disregard notices of " No thorough- 
fare." He must "conduct himself in an orderly and con- 
ciliating manner towards the Japanese authorities and people;" 
he "must produce his passport to any officials who may 
demand it," under pain of arrest ; and while in the interior 
" is forbidden to shoot, trade, to conclude mercantile contracts 
with Japanese, or to rent houses or rooms for a longer period 
than his journey requires. " 

NiKK6, June 13. This is one of the paradises of Japan ! 
It is a proverbial saying, " He who has not seen Nikko must 
not use the word kek'ko " (splendid, delicious, beautiful) ; but 
of this more hereafter. My attempt to write to you from 
Kasukab failed, owing to the onslaught of an army of fleas, 
which compelled me to retreat to my stretcher, and the last 
two nights, for this and other reasons, writing has been out of 
the question. 

I left the Legation at 1 1 A.M. on Monday and reached 
Kasukab at 5 P.M., the runners keeping up an easy trot the 
whole journey of twenty-three miles ; but the halts for smoking 
and eating were frequent. 

These kuruma -runners wore short blue cotton drawers, 
girdles with tobacco pouch and pipe attached, short blue 
cotton shirts with wide sleeves, and open in front, reaching to 
their waists, and blue cotton handkerchiefs knotted round their 
heads, except when the sun was very hot, when they took the 
flat flag discs, two feet in diameter, which always hang behind 
kurumas, and are used either in sun or rain, and tied them on 
their heads. They wore straw sandals, which had to be 
replaced twice on the way. Blue and white towels hung from 
the shafts to wipe away the sweat, which ran profusely down 
the lean, brown bodies. The upper garment always flew 
behind them, displaying chests and backs elaborately tattooed 
with dragons and fishes. Tattooing has recently been pro- 
hibited ; but it was not only a favourite adornment, but a 
substitute for perishable clothing. 

Most of the men of the lower classes wear their hair in a 
very ugly fashion, the front and top of the head being shaved, 
the long hair from the back and sides being drawn up and 




tied, then waxed, tied again, and cut short off, the stiff queue 
being brought forward and laid, pointing forwards, along the 
back part of the top of the head. This top-knot is shaped 
much like a short clay pipe. The shaving and dressing the 
hair thus require the skill of a professional barber. Formerly 
the hair was worn in this way by the samurai, in order that 
the helmet might fit comfortably, but it is now the style of the 
lower classes mostly and by no means invariably. 


Blithely, at a merry trot, the coolies hurried us away from 
the kindly group in the Legation porch, across the inner moat 
and along the inner drive of the castle, past gateways and 
retaining walls of Cyclopean masonry, across the second moat, 
along miles of streets of sheds and shops, all grey, thronged 
with foot-passengers and kurnmas, with pack-horses loaded two 
or three feet above their backs, the arches of their saddles red 
and gilded lacquer, their frontlets of red leather, their " shoes " 
straw sandals, their heads tied tightly to the saddle-girth on 


either side, great white cloths figured with mythical beasts in 
blue hanging down loosely under their bodies ; with coolies 
dragging heavy loads to the guttural cry of Hai ! huida ! with 
children whose heads were shaved in hideous patterns ; and 
now and then, as if to point a moral lesson in the midst of the 
whirling diorama, a funeral passed through the throng, with a 
priest in rich robes, mumbling prayers, a covered barrel con- 
taining the corpse, and a train of mourners in blue dresses 
with white wings. Then we came to the fringe of Yedo, 
where the houses cease to be continuous, but all that day 
there was little interval between them. All had open fronts, 
so that the occupations of the inmates, the " domestic life " in 
fact, were perfectly visible. Many of these houses were road- 
side chayas, or tea-houses, and nearly all sold sweet-meats, 
dried fish, pickles, mochi, or uncooked cakes of rice dough, 
dried persimmons, rain hats, or straw shoes for man or beast. 
The road, though wide enough for two carriages (of which we 
saw none), was not good, and the ditches on both sides were 
frequently neither clean nor sweet. Must I write it ? The 
houses were mean, poor, shabby, often even squalid, the 
smells were bad, and the people looked ugly, shabby, and 
poor, though all were working at something or other. 

The country is a dead level, and mainly an artificial mud 
flat or swamp, in whose fertile ooze various aquatic birds were 
wading, and in which hundreds of men and women were 
wading too, above their knees in slush ; for this plain of Yedo 
is mainly a great rice-field, and this is the busy season of rice- 
planting; for here, in the sense in which we understand it, 
they do not "cast their bread upon the waters." There are 
eight or nine leading varieties of rice grown in Japan, all of 
which, except an upland species, require mud, water, and 
much puddling and nasty work. Rice is the staple food and 
the wealth of Japan. Its revenues were estimated in rice. 
Rice is grown almost wherever irrigation is possible. 

The rice-fields are usually very small and of all shapes. 
A quarter of an acre is a good-sized field. The rice crop 
planted in June is not reaped till November, but in the mean- 
time it needs to be " puddled " three times, i.e. for all the 
people to turn into the slush, and grub out all the weeds and 
tangled aquatic plants, which weave themselves from tuft to 


tuft, and puddle up the mud afresh round the roots. It grows 
in water till it is ripe, when the fields are dried off. An acre 
of the best land produces annually about fifty-four bushels of 
rice, and of the worst about thirty. 

On the plain of Yedo, besides the nearly continuous 
villages along the causewayed road, there are islands, as they 
may be called, of villages surrounded by trees, and hundreds 
of pleasant oases on which wheat ready for the sickle, onions, 
millet, beans, and peas, were flourishing. There were lotus 
ponds too, in which the glorious lily, Nelumbo nudfera, is 
being grown for the sacrilegious purpose of being eaten ! Its 
splendid classical leaves are already a foot above the water. 

After running cheerily for several miles my men bowled 
me into a tea-house, where they ate and smoked while I sat 
in the garden, which consisted of baked mud, smooth stepping- 
stones, a little pond with some goldfish, a deformed pine, and 
a stone lantern. Observe that foreigners are wrong in calling 
the Japanese houses of entertainment indiscriminately "tea- 
houses." A tea-house or chaya is a house at which you can 
obtain tea and other refreshments, rooms to eat them in, and 
attendance. That which to some extent answers to an hotel 
is zyadoya, which provides sleeping accommodation and food 
as required. The licenses are different. Tea-houses are of 
all grades, from the three-storied erections, gay with flags and 
lanterns, in the great cities and at places of popular resort, 
down to the road-side tea-house, as represented in the en- 
graving, with three or four lounges of dark-coloured wood 
under its eaves, usually occupied by naked coolies in all 
attitudes of easiness and repose. The floor is raised about 
eighteen inches above the ground, and in these tea-houses is 
frequently a matted platform with a recess called the doma, 
literally "earth-space," in the middle, round which runs a 
ledge of polished wood called the itama, or " board space," 
on which travellers sit while they bathe their soiled feet with 
the water which is immediately brought to them ; for neither 
with soiled feet nor in foreign shoes must one advance one 
step on the matted floor. On one side of the doma is the 
kitchen, with its one or two charcoal fires, where the coolies 
lounge on the mats and take their food and smoke, and on 
the other the family pursue their avocations. In almost the 


smallest tea-house there are one or two rooms at the back, but 
all the life and interest are in the open front. In the small 
tea-houses there is only an irori, a square hole in the floor, 
full of sand or white ash, on which the live charcoal for 
cooking purposes is placed, and small racks for food and 
eating utensils ; but in the large ones there is a row of 
charcoal stoves, and the walls are garnished up to the roof 


with shelves, and the lacquer tables and lacquer and china 
ware used by the guests. The large tea-houses contain the 
possibilities for a number of rooms which can be extemporised 
at once by sliding paper panels, called fusuma, along grooves 
in the floor and in the ceiling or cross-beams. 

When we stopped at wayside tea-houses the runners bathed 
their feet, rinsed their mouths, and ate rice, pickles, salt fish, 
and " broth of abominable things," after which they smoked 


their tiny pipes, which give them three whiffs for each filling. 
As soon as I got out at any of these, one smiling girl broughf 
me the tabako-bon^ a square wood or lacquer tray, with a china 
or bamboo charcoal-holder and ash-pot upon it, and another 
presented me with a zen, a small lacquer table about six inches 
high, with a tiny teapot with a hollow handle at right angles 
with the spout, holding about an English tea-cupful, and two 
cups without handles or saucers, with a capacity of from ten 
to twenty thimblefuls each. The hot water is merely allowed 
to rest a minute on the tea-leaves, and the infusion is a clear 
straw-coloured liquid with a delicious aroma and flavour, 
grateful and refreshing at all times. If Japanese tea " stands," 
it acquires a coarse bitterness and an unwholesome astringency. 
Milk and sugar are not used. A clean-looking wooden or 
lacquer pail with a lid is kept in all tea-houses, and though 
hot rice, except to order, is only ready three times daily, the 
pail always contains cold rice, and the coolies heat it by 
pouring hot tea over it. As you eat, a tea-house girl, with 
this pail beside her, squats on the floor in front of you, and 
fills your rice bowl till you say, "Hold, enough!" On this 
road it is expected that you leave three or four sen on the tea- 
tray for a rest of an hour or two and tea. 

All day we travelled through rice swamps, along a much- 
frequented road, as far as Kasukabd, a good-sized but 
miserable-looking town, with its main street like one of the 
poorest streets in Tokiyo, and halted for the night at a large 
yadoya, with downstairs and upstairs rooms, crowds of 
travellers, and many evil smells. On entering, the house- 
master or landlord, the teishi^ folded his hands and prostrated 
himself, touching the floor with his forehead three times. It 
is a large, rambling old house, and fully thirty servants were 
bustling about in the daidokoro, or great open kitchen. I took 
a room upstairs (i.e. up a steep step-ladder of dark, polished 
wood), with a balcony under the deep eaves. The front of 
the house upstairs was one long room with only sides and a 
front, but it was immediately divided into four by drawing 
sliding screens or panels, covered with opaque wall papers, 
into their proper grooves. A back was also improvised, but 
this was formed of frames with panes of translucent paper, 
like our tissue paper, with sundry holes and rents. This 


being done, I found myself the possessor of a room about 
sixteen feet square, without hook, shelf, rail, or anything on 
which to put anything nothing, in short, but a matted floor. 
Do not be misled by the use of this word matting. Japanese 
house-mats, tatami, are as neat, refined, and soft a covering 
for the floor as the finest Axminster carpet. They are 5 feet 
9 inches long, 3 feet broad, and z\ inches thick. The frame 
is solidly made of coarse straw, and this is covered with very 
fine woven matting, as nearly white as possible, and each mat is 
usually bound with dark blue cloth. Temples and rooms are 
measured by the number of mats they contain, and rooms 
must be built for the mats, as they are never cut to the rooms. 
They are always level with the polished grooves or ledges 
which surround the floor. They are soft and elastic, and the 
finer qualities are very beautiful. They are as expensive as 
the best Brussels carpet, and the Japanese take great pride 
in them, and are much aggrieved by the way in which some 
thoughtless foreigners stamp over them with dirty boots. 
Unfortunately they harbour myriads of fleas. 

Outside my room an open balcony with many similiar rooms 
ran round a forlorn aggregate of dilapidated shingle roofs and 
water-butts. These rooms were all full. Ito asked me for 
instructions once for all, put up my stretcher under a large 
mosquito net of coarse green canvas with a fusty smell, filled 
my bath, brought me some tea, rice, and eggs, took my 
passport to be copied by the house-master, and departed, I 
know not whither. I tried to write to you, but fleas and 
mosquitoes prevented it, and besides, the fusuma were fre- 
quently noiselessly drawn apart, and several pairs of dark, 
elongated eyes surveyed me through the cracks ; for there 
were two Japanese families in the room to the right, and five 
men in that to the left. I closed the sliding windows, with 
translucent paper for window panes, called sMj'i, and went to 
bed ; but the lack of privacy was fearful, and I have not yet 
sufficient trust in my fellow-creatures to be comfortable without 
locks, walls, or doors ! Eyes were constantly applied to the 
sides of the room, a girl twice drew aside the shoji between it 
and the corridor ; a man, who I afterwards found was a blind 
man, offering his services as a shampooer, came in and said 
some (of course) unintelligible words, and the new noises were 


perfectly bewildering. On one side a man recited Buddhist 
prayers in a high key; on the other a girl was twanging a 
samisen, a species of guitar ; the house was full of talking and 
splashing, drums and tom-toms were beaten outside; there 
were street cries innumerable, and the whistling of the blind 
shampooers, and the resonant clap of the fire-watchman who 
perambulates all Japanese villages, and beats two pieces of 
wood together in token of his vigilance, were intolerable. It 
was a life of which I knew nothing, and the mystery was more 
alarming than attractive ; my money was lying about, and 
nothing seemed easier than to slide a hand through i\\Q/usunia 
and appropriate it. Ito told me that the well was badly con- 
taminated, the odours were fearful ; illness was to be feared as 
well as robbery ! So unreasonably I reasoned I 1 

My bed is merely a piece of canvas nailed to two wooden 
bars. When I lay down the canvas burst away from the lower 
row of nails with a series of cracks, and sank gradually till I 
found myself lying on a sharp-edged pole which connects the 
two pair of trestles, and the helpless victim of fleas and 
mosquitoes. I lay for three hours, not daring to stir lest I 
should bring the canvas altogether down, becoming more and 
more nervous every moment, and then Ito called outside the 
shoji, " It would be best, Miss Bird, that I should see you." 
What horror can this be ? I thought, and was not reassured 
when he added, " Here's a messenger from the Legation and 
two policemen want to speak to you." On arriving I had 
done the correct thing in giving the house-master my passport, 
which, according to law, he had copied into his book, and had 
sent a duplicate copy to the police-station, and this intrusion 
near midnight was as unaccountable as it was unwarrantable. 
Nevertheless the appearance of the two mannikins in European 
uniforms, with the familiar batons and bull's-eye lanterns, and 
with manners which were respectful without being deferential, 
gave me immediate relief. I should have welcomed twenty of 
their species, for their presence assured me of the fact that I 
am known and registered, and that a Government which, for 

1 My fears, though quite natural for a lady alone, had really no justifica- 
tion. I have since travelled 1200 miles in the interior, and in Yezo, with 
perfect safety and freedom from alarm, and I believe that there is no country 
in the world in which a lady can travel with such absolute security from danger 
and rudeness as in Japan. 

C 2 


special reasons, is anxious to impress foreigners with its power 
and omniscience is responsible for my safety. 

While they spelt through my passport by their dim lantern 
I opened the Yedo parcel, and found that it contained a tin 
of lemon sugar, a most kind note from Sir Harry Parkes, and 
a packet of letters from you. While I was attempting to open 
the letters, Ito, the policemen, and the lantern glided out of 
my room, and I lay uneasily till daylight, with the letters and 
telegram, for which I had been yearning for six weeks, on my 
bed unopened ! 

Already I can laugh at my fears and misfortunes, as I 
hope you will. A traveller must buy his own experience, and 
success or failure depends mainly on personal idiosyncrasies. 
Many matters will be remedied by experience as I go on, and 
I shall acquire the habit of feeling secure ; but lack of privacy, 
bad smells, and the torments of fleas and mosquitoes are, I 
fear, irremediable evils. I. L. B. 



LETTER VI. (Continued.') 

A Coolie falls ill Peasant Costume Varieties in Threshing The Tochigs 
yadoya Farming Villages A Beautiful Region An In Memoriam 
Avenue A Doll's Street Nikkfl The Journey's End Coolie Kindliness. 

BY seven the next morning the rice was eaten, the room as bare 
as if it had never been occupied, the bill of 80 sen paid, the 
house-master and servants with many sayo naras, or farewells, 
had prostrated themselves, and we were away in the kurumas at 
a rapid trot. At the first halt my runner, a kindly, good- 
natured creature, but absolutely hideous, was seized with pain 
and vomiting, owing, he said, to drinking the bad water at 
Kasukabe", and was left behind. He pleased me much by the 
honest independent way in which he provided a substitute, 
strictly adhering to his bargain, and never asking for a gratuity 
on account of his illness. He had been so kind and helpful 
that I felt quite sad at leaving him there ill, only a coolie, to- 
be sure, only an atom among the 34,000,000 of the Empire, 
but not less precious to our Father in heaven than any other. 
It was a brilliant day, with the mercury 86 in the shade, but 
the heat was not oppressive. At noon we reached the Tone", 
and I rode on a coolie's tattooed shoulders through the shallow 
part, and then, with the kurumas, some ill-disposed pack-horses, 
and a number of travellers, crossed in a flat-bottomed boat. 
The boatmen, travellers, and cultivators, were nearly or alto- 
gether without clothes, but the richer farmers worked in the 
fields in curved bamboo hats as large as umbrellas, kimonos 
with large sleeves not girt up, and large fans attached to their 
girdles. Many of the travellers whom we met were without 
hats, but shielded the front of the head by holding a fan be- 
tween it and the sun. Probably the inconvenience of the 
national costume for working men partly accounts for the 


general practice of getting rid of it. It is such a hindrance, 
even in walking, that most pedestrians have " their loins girded 
up " by taking the middle of the hem at the bottom of the 
kimono and tucking it under the girdle. This, in the case of 
many, shows woven, tight-fitting, elastic, white cotton panta- 
loons, reaching to the ankles. After ferrying another river at 
a village from which a steamer plies to Tokiyo, the country 
became much more pleasing, the rice-fields fewer, the trees, 
houses, and barns larger, and, in the distance, high hills loomed 
faintly through the haze. Much of the wheat, of which they 
don't make bread, but vermicelli, is already being carried. You 
see wheat stacks, ten feet high, moving slowly, and while you 
are wondering, you become aware of four feet moving below 
them ; for all the crop is carried on horses' if not on human 
backs. I went to see several threshing-floors, clean, open 
spaces outside barns, where the grain is laid on mats and 
threshed by two or four men with heavy revolving flails. 
Another method is for women to beat out the grain on racks 
of split bamboo laid lengthwise ; and I saw yet a third practised 
both in the fields and barn-yards, in which women pass hand- 
fuls of stalks backwards through a sort of carding instrument 
with sharp iron teeth placed in a slanting position, which cuts 
off the ears, leaving the stalk unbruised. This is probably 
" the sharp threshing instrument having teeth " mentioned by 
Isaiah. The ears are then rubbed between the hands. In 
this region the wheat was winnowed altogether by hand, and 
after the wind had driven the chaff away, the grain was laid 
out on mats to dry. Sickles are not used, but the reaper takes 
a handful of stalks and cuts them off close to the ground with 
a short, straight knife, fixed at a right angle with the handle. 
The wheat is sown in rows with wide spaces between them, 
which are utilised for beans and other crops, and no sooner 
is it removed than daikon (Raphanus sativus\ cucumbers, or 
some other vegetable, takes its place, as the land under careful 
tillage and copious manuring bears two, and even three, crops 
in the year. The soil is trenched for wheat as for all crops 
except rice, not a weed is to be seen, and the whole country 
looks like a well-kept garden. The barns in this district are 
very handsome, and many of their grand roofs have that 
concave sweep with which we are familiar in the pagoda. 


The eaves are often eight feet deep, and the thatch three feet 
thick. Several of the farm-yards have handsome gateways 
like the ancient "lychgates" of some of our English church- 
yards much magnified. As animals are not used for milk, 
draught, or food, and there are no pasture lands, both the 
country and the farm-yards have a singular silence and an 
inanimate look ; a mean-looking dog and a few fowls being 
the only representatives of domestic animal life. I long for 
the lowing of cattle and the bleating of sheep. 

At six we reached Tochigi, a large town, formerly the castle 
town of a daimiyd. Its special manufacture is rope of many 
kinds, a great deal of hemp being grown in the neighbourhood. 
Many of the roofs are tiled, and the town has a more solid 
and handsome appearance than those that we had previously 
passed through. But from Kasukabe" to Tochigi was from 
bad to worse. I nearly abandoned Japanese travelling alto- 
gether, and, if last night had not been a great improvment, I 
think I should have gone ignominiously back to Tokiyo. The 
yadoya was a very large one, and, as sixty guests had arrived 
before me, there was no choice of accommodation, and I had 
to be contented with a room enclosed on all sides not by 
fusuma but shoji, and with barely room for my bed, "bath, and 
chair, under a fusty green mosquito net which was a perfect 
nest of fleas. One side of the room was against a much- 
frequented passage, and another opened on a small yard upon 
which three opposite rooms also opened, crowded with some 
not very sober or decorous travellers. The shdji were full of 
holes, and often at each hole I saw a human eye. Privacy 
was a luxury not even to be recalled. Besides the constant 
application of eyes to the shoji, the servants, who were very 
noisy and rough, looked into my room constantly without any 
pretext ; the host, a bright, pleasant-looking man, did the same; 
jugglers, musicians, blind shampooers, and singing girls, all 
pushed the screens aside ; and I began to think that Mr. 
Campbell was right, and that a lady should not travel alone in 
Japan. Ito, who had the room next to mine, suggested that 
robbery was quite likely, and asked to be allowed to take 
charge of my money, but did not decamp with it during the 
night ! I lay down on my precarious stretcher before eight, 
but as the night advanced the din of the house increased till 


it became truly diabolical, and never ceased till after one. 
Drums, tom-toms, and cymbals were beaten ; kotos and samisens 
screeched and twanged ; geishas (professional women with the 
accomplishments of dancing, singing, and playing) danced, 
accompanied by songs whose jerking discords were most 
laughable ; story-tellers recited tales in a high key, and the 
running about and splashing close to my room never 
ceased. Late at night my precarious shoji were accidentally 
thrown down, revealing a scene of great hilarity, in which a 
number of people were bathing and throwing water over each 

The noise of departures began at daylight, and I was glad 
to leave at seven. Before you go the fusuma are slidden back, 
and what was your room becomes part of a great, open, 
matted space an arrangement which effectually prevents 
lustiness. Though the road was up a slight incline, and the 
men were too tired to trot, we made thirty miles in nine hours. 
The kindliness and courtesy of the coolies to me and to each 
other was a constant source of pleasure to me. It is most 
amusing to see the elaborate politeness of the greetings of 
men clothed only in hats and maros. The hat is invariably 
removed when they speak to each other, and three profound 
bows are never omitted. 

Soon after leaving the yadoya we passed through a wide 
street with the largest and handsomest houses I have yet seen 
on both sides. They were all open in front; their highly- 
polished floors and passages looked like still water; the 
kakemonos, or wall-pictures, on their side-walls were extremely 
beautiful; and their mats were very fine and white. There 
were large gardens at the back, with fountains and flowers, 
and streams, crossed by light stone bridges, sometimes flowed 
through the houses. From the signs I supposed them to be 
yadoyas, but on asking Ito why we had not put up at one of 
them, he replied that they were all kashitsukeya, or tea-houses 
of disreputable character a very sad fact. 1 

As we journeyed the country became prettier and prettier, 

1 In my northern journey I was very frequently obliged to put up with 
rough and dirty accommodation, because the better sort of houses were of this 
class. If there are few sights which shock the traveller, there is much even on 
ithe surface to indicate vices which degrade and enslave the manhood of Japan. 


rolling up to abrupt wooded hills with mountains in the clouds 
behind. The farming villages are comfortable and embowered 
in wood, and the richer farmers seclude their dwellings by 
closely-clipped hedges, or rather screens, two feet wide, and 
often twenty feet high. Tea grew near every house, and its 
leaves were being gathered and dried on mats. Signs of silk 
culture began to appear in shrubberies of mulberry trees, and 
white and sulphur yellow cocoons were lying in the sun along 
the road in flat trays. Numbers of women sat in the fronts of 
the houses weaving cotton cloth fifteen inches wide, and cotton 
yarn, mostly imported from England, was being dyed in all the 
villages the dye used being a native indigo, the Polygonum 
tinctorium. Old women were spinning, and young and old 
usually pursued their avocations with wise -looking babies 
tucked into the backs of their dresses, and peering cunningly 
over their shoulders. Even little girls of seven and eight were 
playing at children's games with babies on their backs, and 
those who were too small to carry real ones had big dolls 
strapped on in. similar fashion. Innumerable villages, crowded 
houses, and babies in all, give one the impression of a very 
populous country. 

As the day wore on in its brightness and glory the pic- 
tures became more varied and beautiful. Great snow-slashed 
mountains looked over the foothills, on whose steep sides the 
dark blue green of pine and cryptomeria was lighted up by 
the spring tints of deciduous trees. There were groves of 
cryptomeria on small hills crowned by Shinto shrines, ap- 
proached by grand flights of stone stairs. The red gold of the 
harvest fields contrasted with the fresh green and exquisite 
leafage of the hemp ; rose and white azaleas lighted up the 
copse-woods; and when the broad road passed into the 
colossal avenue of cryptomeria which overshadows the way to 
the sacred shrines of Nikko, and tremulous sunbeams and 
shadows flecked the grass, I felt that Japan was beautiful, and 
that the mud flats of Yedo were only an ugly dream ! 

Two roads lead to Nikko. I avoided the one usually 
taken by Utsunomiya, and by doing so lost the most magnifi- 
cent of the two avenues, which extends for nearly fifty miles 
along the great highway called the Oshiu-kaido. Along the 
Reiheishi-kaido, the road by which I came, it extends for 


thirty miles, and the two, broken frequently by villages, con- 
verge upon the village of Imaichi, eight miles from Nikko, 
where they unite, and only terminate at the entrance of the 
town. They are said to have been planted as an offering to 
the buried Shoguns by a man who was too poor to place a 
bronze lantern at their shrines. A grander monument could 
not have been devised, and they are probably the grandest 
things of their kind in the world. The avenue of the 
Reiheishi-kaido is a good carriage road with sloping banks 
eight feet high, covered with grass and ferns. At the top of 
these are the cryptomeria, then two grassy walks, and between 
these and the cultivation a screen of saplings and brushwood. 
A great many of the trees become two at four feet from the 
ground. Many of the stems are twenty-seven feet in girth ; 
they do not diminish or branch till they have reached a height 
of from 50 to 60 feet, and the appearance of altitude is aided 
by the longitudinal splitting of the reddish coloured bark into 
strips about two inches wide. The trees are pyramidal, and 
at a little distance resemble cedars. There is a deep solemnity 
about this glorious avenue with its broad shade and dancing 
lights, and the rare glimpses of high mountains. Instinct 
alone would tell one that it leads to something which must be 
grand and beautiful like itself. It is broken occasionally by 
small villages with big bells suspended between double poles ; 
by wayside shrines with offerings of nigs and flowers ; by stone 
effigies of Buddha and his disciples, mostly defaced or over- 
thrown, all wearing the same expression of beatified rest and 
indifference to mundane affairs ; and by temples of lacquered 
wood falling to decay, whose bells sent their surpassingly sweet 
tones far on the evening air. 

Imaichi, where the two stately aisles unite, is a long uphill 
street, with a clear mountain stream enclosed in a stone 
channel, and crossed by hewn stone slabs running down the 
middle. In a room built over the stream, and commanding a 
view up and down the street, two policemen sat writing. It 
looks a dull place without much traffic, as li oppressed by the 
stateliness of the avenues below it and the shrines above it, 
but it has a quiet yadoya, where I had a good night's rest, 
although my canvas bed was nearly on the ground. We left 
earlv this morning in drizzling rain, and went straight up hill 


under the cryptomeria for eight miles. The vegetation is as 
profuse as one would expect in so damp and hot a summer 
climate, and from the prodigious rainfall of the mountains; 
every stone is covered with moss, and the road-sides are green 
with the Protococcus viridis and several species of Marchantia. 
We were among the foothills of the Nantaizan mountains at a 
height of 1000 feet, abrupt in their forms, wooded to their 
summits, and noisy with the dash and tumble of a thousand 
streams. The long street of Hachiishi, with its steep-roofed, 
deep-eaved houses, its warm .colouring, and its steep roadway 
with steps at intervals, has a sort of Swiss picturesqueness as 
you enter it, as you must, on foot, while your kurumas are 
hauled and lifted up the steps ; nor is the resemblance given 
by steep roofs, pines, and mountains patched with coniferae, 
altogether lost as you ascend the steep street, and see wood 
carvings and quaint baskets of wood and grass offered every- 
where for sale. It is a truly dull, quaint street, and the 
people come out to stare at a foreigner as if foreigners had not 
become common events since 1870, when Sir H. and Lady 
Parkes, the first Europeans who were permitted to visit Nikko, 
took up their abode in the Imperial Hombo. It is a doll's 
street with small low houses, so finely matted, so exquisitely 
clean, so finically neat, so light and delicate, that even when I 
entered them without my boots I felt like a "bull in a china 
shop," as if my mere weight must smash through and destroy. 
The street is so painfully clean that I should no more think 
of walking over it in muddy boots than over a drawing-room 
carpet. It has a silent mountain look, and most of its shops 
sell specialties, lacquer work, boxes of sweetmeats made of 
black beans and sugar, all sorts of boxes, trays, cups, and 
stands, made of plain, polished wood, and more grotesque 
articles made from the roots of trees. 

It was not part of my plan to stay at the beautiful yadoya 
which receives foreigners in Hachiishi, and I sent Ito half a 
mile farther with a note in Japanese to the owner of the house 
where I now am, while I sat on a rocky eminence at the top 
of the street, unmolested by anybody, looking over to the 
solemn groves upon the mountains, where the two greatest of 
the Shoguns " sleep in glory." Below, the rushing Daiyagawa, 
swollen by the night's rain, thundered through a narrow gorge 


Beyond, colossal flights of stone stairs stretch mysteriously 
away among cryptomeria groves, above which tower the 
Nikkosan mountains. Just where the torrent finds its im- 
petuosity checked by two stone walls, it is spanned by a 
bridge, 84 feet long by 18 wide, of dull red lacquer, resting on 
two stone piers on either side, connected by two transverse 
stone beams. A welcome bit of colour it is amidst the masses 
of dark greens and soft greys, though there is nothing imposing 
in its structure, and its interest consists in being the Mihashi, or 
Sacred Bridge, built in 1636, formerly open only to the Shoguns, 
the envoy of the Mikado, and to pilgrims twice a year. Both 
its gates are locked. Grand and lonely Nikko looks, the 
home of rain and mist. Kuruma roads end here, and if you 
wish to go any farther, you must either walk, ride, or be carried. 

Ito was long away, and the coolies kept addressing me in 
Japanese, which made me feel helpless and solitary, and 
eventually they shouldered my baggage, and, descending a 
flight of steps, we crossed the river by the secular bridge, and 
shortly met my host, Kanaya, a very bright, pleasant-looking 
man, who bowed nearly to the earth. Terraced roads in every 
direction lead through cryptomerias to the shrines ; and this 
one passes many a stately enclosure, but leads away from the 
temples, and though it is the highway to Chiuzenjii, a place of 
popular pilgrimage, Yumoto, a place of popular resort, and 
several other villages, it is very rugged, and, having flights of 
stone steps at intervals, is only practicable for horses and 

At the house, with the appearance of which I was at once 
delighted, I regretfully parted with my coolies, who had served 
me kindly and faithfully. They had paid me many little atten- 
tions, such as always beating the dust out of my dress, inflating 
my air-pillow, and bringing me flowers, and were always grateful 
when I walked up hills ; and just now, after going for a frolic 
to the mountains, they called to wish me good-bye, bringing 
branches of azaleas. I. L. B. 



A Japanese Idyll Musical Stillness My Rooms Floral Decorations Kanaya 
and his Household Table Equipments. 

KANAYA'S, NiKKd, June 15. 

I DON'T know what to write about my house. It is a Japanese 
idyll ; there is nothing within or without which does not please 
the eye, and, after the din of yadoyas, its silence, musical with 
the dash of waters and the twitter of birds, is truly refreshing. 
It is a simple but irregular two-storied pavilion, standing on a 
stone-faced terrace approached by a flight of stone steps. The 
garden is well laid out, and, as peonies, irises, and azaleas are 
now in blossom, it is very bright. The mountain, with its 
lower part covered with red azaleas, rises just behind, and a 
stream which tumbles down it supplies the house with water, 
both cold and pure, and another, after forming a miniature 
cascade, passes under the house and through a fish-pond with 
rocky islets into the river below. The grey village of Irimichi 
lies on the other side of the road, shut in with the rushing 
Daiya, and beyond it are high, broken hills, richly wooded, 
and slashed with ravines and waterfalls. 

Kanaya's sister, a very sweet, refined-looking woman, met 
me at the door and divested me of my boots. The two 
verandahs are highly polished, so are the entrance and the 
stairs which lead to my room, and the mats are so fine and 
white that I almost fear to walk over them, even in my 
stockings. The polished stairs lead to a highly polished, 
broad verandah with a beautiful view, from which you enter 
one large room, which, being too large, was at once made into 
two. Four highly polished steps lead from this into an exquisite 
room at the back, which Ito occupies, and another polished 
staircase into the bath-house and garden. The whole front of 


my room is composed of shojt, which slide back during the 
day. The ceiling is of light wood crossed by bars of dark 
wood, and the posts which support it are of dark polished wood. 
The panels are of wrinkled sky-blue paper splashed with gold. 
At one end are two alcoves with floors of polished wood, called 
tokonoma. In one hangs a kakemono, or wall-picture, a painting 
of a blossoming branch of the cherry on white silk a perfect 


piece of art, which in itself fills the room with freshness and 
beauty. The artist who painted it painted nothing but cherry 
blossoms, and fell in the rebellion. On a shelf in the other 
alcove is a very valuable cabinet with sliding doors, on which 
peonies are painted on a gold ground. A single spray of rose 
azalea in a pure white vase hanging on one of the polished 
posts, and a single iris in another, are the only decorations. 
The mats are very fine and white, but the only furniture is a 
folding screen with some suggestions of landscape in Indian 


ink. I almost wish that the rooms were a little less exquisite, 
for I am in constant dread of spilling the ink, indenting the 
mats, or tearing the paper windows. Downstairs there is a 
room equally beautiful, and a large space where all the 
domestic avocations are carried on. There is a kura> or fire- 
proof storehouse, with a tiled roof, on the right of the house. 

Kanaya leads the discords at the Shinto shrines ; but his 
duties are few, and he is chiefly occupied in perpetually 
embellishing his house and garden. His mother, a venerable 
old lady, and his sister, the sweetest and most graceful 
Japanese woman but one that I have seen, live with him. 
She moves about the house like a floating fairy, and her voice 
has music in its tones. A half-witted servant-man and the 
sister's boy and girl complete the family. Kanaya is the chief 
man in the village, and is very intelligent and apparently well 
educated. He has divorced his wife, and his sister has 
practically divorced her husband. Of late, to help his income, 
he has let these charming rooms to foreigners who have 
brought letters to him, and he is very anxious to meet their 
views, while his good taste leads him to avoid Europeanising 
his beautiful home. 

Supper came up on a zen, or small table six inches high, 
of old gold lacquer, with the rice in a gold lacquer bowl, and 
the teapot and cup were fine Kaga porcelain. For my two 
rooms, with rice and tea, I pay 25. a. day. Ito forages for me, 
and can occasionally get chickens at rod. each, and a dish of 
trout for 6d., and eggs are always to be had for id. each. It 
is extremely interesting to live in a private house and to see 
the externalities, at least, of domestic life in a Japanese middle- 
class home. I. L. B. 



The Beauties of Nikko The Burial of lydyasu The Approach to the Great 
Shrines The Yomei Gate Gorgeous Decorations Simplicity of the 
Mausoleum The Shrine of ly^mitsu Religious Art of Japan and India 
An Earthquake Beauties of Wood-carving. 

KANAYA'S, NiKKd, June ai. 

I HAVE been at Nikko for nine days, and am therefore entitled 
to use the word "KeKko ! " 

Nikko means "sunny splendour," and its beauties are 
celebrated in poetry and art all over Japan. Mountains for a 
great part of the year clothed or patched with snow, piled in 
great ranges round Nantaizan, their monarch, worshipped as 
a god ; forests of magnificent timber ; ravines and passes 
scarcely explored ; dark green lakes sleeping in endless 
serenity ; the deep abyss of Kegon, into which the waters of 
Chiuzenjii plunge from a height of 250 feet ; the bright 
beauty of the falls of Kiri Furi, the loveliness of the gardens of 
Dainichido; the sombre grandeur of the passes through which 
the Daiyagawa forces its way from the upper regions; a 
gorgeousness of azaleas and magnolias ; and a luxuriousness 
of vegetation perhaps unequalled in Japan, are only a few of 
the attractions which surround the shrines of the two greatest 

To a glorious resting-place on the hill-slope of Hotoke 
Iwa, sacred since 767, when a Buddhist saint, called Shodo 
Shonin, visited it, and declared the old Shinto deity of the 
mountain to be only a manifestation of Buddha, Hidetada, 
the second Shogun of the Tokugawa dynasty, conveyed the 
corpse of his father, lye'yasu, in 1617. It was a splendid 
burial An Imperial envoy, a priest of the Mikado's family, 
court nobles from Kivoto, and hundreds of daimiyds, captains, 


and nobles of inferior rank, took part in the ceremony. An 
army of priests in rich robes during three days intoned a 
sacred classic 10,000 times, and lydyasu was deified by a decree 
of the Mikado under a name signifying " light of the east, 
great incarnation of Buddha." The less important Shoguns of 
the line of Tokugawa are buried in Uyeno and Shiba, in 
Yedo. Since the restoration, and what may be called the 
disestablishment of Buddhism, the shrine of Iye"yasu has been 
shorn of all its glories of ritual and its magnificent Buddhist 
paraphernalia; the 200 priests who gave it splendour are 
scattered, and six Shinto priests alternately attend upon it as 
much for the purpose of selling tickets of admission as for any 
priestly duties. 

All roads, bridges, and avenues here lead to these shrines, 
but the grand approach is by the Red Bridge, and up a broad 
road with steps at intervals and stone-faced embankments at 
each side, on the top of which are belts of cryptomeria. At 
the summit of this ascent is a fine granite torit\ 27 feet 6 
inches high, with columns 3 feet 6 inches in diameter, 
offered by the daimiyd of Chikuzen in 1618 from his own 
quarries. After this come 118 magnificent bronze lanterns on 
massive stone pedestals, each of which is inscribed with the 
posthumous title of Iye"yasu, the name of the giver, and a 
legend of the offering all the gifts of daimiyd a holy water 
cistern made of a solid block of granite, and covered by a 
roof resting on twenty square granite pillars, and a bronze bell, 
lantern, and candelabra of marvellous workmanship, offered 
by the kings of Corea and Liukiu. On the left is a five-storied 
pagoda, 104 feet high, richly carved in wood and as richly 
gilded and painted. The signs of the zodiac run round the 
lower story. 

The grand entrance gate is at the top of a handsome flight 
of steps forty yards from the torii. A looped white curtain 
with the Mikado's crest in black, hangs partially over the 
gateway, in which, beautiful as it is, one does not care to 
linger, to examine the gilded amainu in niches, or the spirited 
carvings of tigers under the eaves, for the view of the first court 
overwhelms one by its magnificence and beauty. The whole 
style of the buildings, the arrangements, the art of every kind, 
the thought which inspires the whole, are exclusively Japanese, 


and the glimpse from the Ni-o gate is a revelation of a 
previously undreamed-of beauty, both in form and colour. 

Round the neatly pebbled court, which is enclosed by a 
bright red timber wall, are three gorgeous buildings, which 
contain the treasures of the temple, a sumptuous stable for 
the three sacred Albino horses, which are kept for the use of 
the god, a magnificent granite cistern of holy water, fed from 
the Somendaki cascade, and a highly decorated building, in 
which a complete collection of Buddhist Scriptures is de- 
posited. From this a flight of steps leads into a smaller court 
containing a bell-tower " of marvellous workmanship and 
ornamentation," a drum-tower, hardly less beautiful, a shrine, 
the candelabra, bell, and lantern mentioned before, and some 
very grand bronze lanterns. 

From this court another flight of steps ascends to the 
Yomei gate, whose splendour I contemplated day after day 
with increasing astonishment. The white columns which 
support it have capitals formed of great red-throated heads of 
the mythical Kirin. Above the architrave is a projecting 
balcony which runs all round the gateway with a railing carried 
by dragons' heads. In the centre two white dragons fight 
eternally. Underneath, in high relief, there are groups of 
children playing, then a network of richly painted beams, and 
seven groups of Chinese sages. The high roof is supported 
by gilded dragons' heads with crimson throats. In the interior 
of the gateway there are side-niches painted white, which are 
lined with gracefully designed arabesques founded on the botan 
or peony. A piazza, whose outer walls of twenty-one compart- 
ments are enriched with magnificent carvings of birds, flowers, 
and trees, runs right and left, and encloses on three of its 
sides another court, the fourth side of which is a terminal 
stone wall built against the side of the hill. On the right are 
two decorated buildings, one of which contains a stage for the 
performance of the sacred dances, and the other an altar for 
the burning of cedar wood incense. On the left is a building 
for the reception of the three sacred cars which were used 
during festivals. To pass from court to court is to pass from 
splendour to splendour ; one is almost glad to feel that this is 
the last, and that the strain on one's capacity for admiration is 
nearly over. 


In the middle is the sacred enclosure, formed of gilded 
trellis-work with painted borders above and below, forming 
a square of which each side measures 150 feet, and which 
contains the 'haiden or chapel. Underneath the trellis work 
are groups of birds, with backgrounds of grass, very boldly 
carved in wood and richly gilded and painted. From the 
imposing entrance through a double avenue of cryptomeria, 
among courts, gates, temples, shrines, pagodas, colossal bells 
of bronze, and lanterns inlaid with gold, you pass through this 
final court bewildered by magnificence, through golden gates, 
into the dimness of a golden temple, and there is simply a 
black lacquer table with a circular metal mirror upon it. 

Within is a hall finely matted, 42 feet wide by 27 from 
front to back, with lofty apartments on each side, one for the 
Shogun and the other " for his Holiness the Abbot." Both, of 
course, are empty. The roof of the hall is panelled and richly 
frescoed. The Shogun's room contains some very fine fusuma, 
on which kirin (fabulous monsters) are depicted on a dead 
gold ground, and four oak panels, 8 feet by 6, finely carved, 
with the phoenix in low relief variously treated. In the 
Abbot's room there are similar panels adorned with hawks 
spiritedly executed. The only ecclesiastical ornament among 
the dim splendours of the chapel is the plain gold gohei. 
Steps at the back lead into a chapel paved with stone, with 
a fine panelled ceiling representing dragons on a dark blue 
ground. Beyond this some gilded doors lead into the prin- 
cipal chapel, containing four rooms which are not accessible ; 
but if they correspond with the outside, which is of highly 
polished black lacquer relieved by gold, they must be severely 

But not in any one of these gorgeous shrines did lydyasu 
decree that his dust should rest. Re-entering the last court, 
it is necessary to leave the enclosures altogether by passing 
through a covered gateway in the eastern piazza into a stone 
gallery, green with mosses and hepaticse. Within, wealth and 
art have created a fairyland of gold and colour; without, 
Nature, at her stateliest, has surrounded the great Shogun's 
tomb with a pomp of mournful splendour. A staircase of 
240 stone steps leads to the top of the hill, where, above and 
behind all the stateliness of the shrines raised in his honour, 


the dust of lyeyasu sleeps in an unadorned but Cyclopean 
tomb of stone and bronze, surmounted by a bronze urn. In 
front is a stone table decorated with a bronze incense-burner, 
a vase with lotus blossoms and leaves in brass, and a bronze 
stork bearing a bronze candlestick in its mouth. A lofty stone 
wall, surmounted by a balustrade, surrounds the simple but 
stately enclosure, and cryptomeria of large size growing up the 
back of the hill create perpetual twilight round it. Slant rays 
of sunshine alone pass through them, no flower blooms or 
bird sings, only silence and mournfulness surround the grave 
of the ablest and greatest man that Japan has produced. 

Impressed as I had been with the glorious workmanship in 
wood, bronze, and lacquer, I scarcely admired less the masonry 
of the vast retaining walls, the stone gallery, the staircase and 
its balustrade, all put together without mortar or cement, and 
so accurately fitted that the joints are scarcely affected by the 
rain, damp, and aggressive vegetation of 260 years. The steps 
of the staircase are fine monoliths, and the coping at the side, 
the massive balustrade, and the heavy rail at the top, are cut 
out of solid blocks of stone from 10 to 18 feet in length. 
Nor is the workmanship of the great granite cistern for holy 
water less remarkable. It is so carefully adjusted on its bed 
that the water brought from a neighbouring cascade rises and 
pours over each edge in such carefully equalised columns 
that, as Mr. Satow says, " it seems to be a solid block of water 
rather than a piece of stone." 

The temples of Iye"mitsu are close to those of lye'yasu, and 
though somewhat less magnificent, are even more bewildering, as 
they are still in Buddhist hands, and are crowded with the gods 
of the Buddhist Pantheon and the splendid paraphernalia of 
Buddhist worship, in striking contrast to the simplicity of the 
lonely Shinto mirror in the midst of the blaze of gold and colour. 
In the grand entrance gate are gigantic Nt-6, the Buddhist Gog 
and Magog, vermilion coloured, and with draperies painted in 
imitation of flowered silk. A second pair, painted red and green, 
removed from lyemitsu's temple, are in niches within the gate. 
A flight of steps leads to another gate, in whose gorgeous niches 
stand hideous monsters, in human form, representing the gods 
of wind and thunder. Wind has crystal eyes and a half- jolly, 
half-demoniacal expression. He is painted green, and carries 


a wind-bag on his back, a long sack tied at each end, with the 
ends brought over his shoulders and held in his hands. The 
god of thunder is painted red, with purple hair on end, and 
stands on clouds holding thunderbolts in his hand. More 
steps, and another gate containing the Tenno, or gods of the 
four quarters, boldly carved and in strong action, with long 
eye-teeth, and at last the principal temple is reached. An old 
priest who took me over it on my first visit, on passing the 
gods of wind and thunder said, " We used to believe in these 
things, but we don't now," and his manner in speaking of the 
other deities was rather contemptuous. He requested me, 
however, to take off my hat as well as my shoes at the door 
of the temple. Within there was a gorgeous shrine, and when 
an acolyte drew aside the curtain of cloth of gold the interior 
was equally imposing, containing Buddha and two other figures 
of gilded brass, seated cross-legged on lotus-flowers, with rows 
of petals several times repeated, and with that look of eternal 
repose on their faces which is reproduced in the commonest 
road-side images. In front of the shrine several candles were 
burning, the offerings of some people who were having prayers 
said for them, and the whole was lighted by two lamps burning 
low. On a step of the altar a much -contorted devil was 
crouching uneasily, for he was subjugated and, by a grim 
irony, made to carry a massive incense-burner on his shoulders. 
In this temple there were more than a hundred idols standing 
in rows, many of them life-size, some of them trampling devils 
under their feet, but all hideous, partly from the bright greens, 
vermilions, and blues with which they are painted. Remark- 
able muscular development characterises all, and the figures 
or faces are all in vigorous action of some kind, generally 
grossly exaggerated. 

While we were crossing the court there were two shocks 
of earthquake ; all the golden wind-bells which fringe the roofs 
rang softly, and a number of priests ran into the temple and 
beat various kinds of drums for the space of half an hour. 
Iye*mitsu's tomb is reached by flights of steps on the right of 
the chapel. It is in the same style as Iye"yasu's, but the gates 
in front are of bronze, and are inscribed with large Sanskrit 
characters in bright brass. One of the most beautiful of the 
many views is from the uppermost gate of the temple. The 


sun shone on my second visit and brightened the spring tints 
of the trees on Hotoke Iwa, which was vignetted by a frame 
of dark cryptomeria. 

Some of the buildings are roofed with sheet-copper, but most 
of them are tiled. Tiling, however, has been raised almost 
to the dignity of a fine art in Japan. The tiles themselves are 
a coppery grey, with a suggestion of metallic lustre about it. 
They are slightly concave, and the joints are covered by others 
quite convex, which come down like massive tubes from the 
ridge pole, and terminate at the eaves with discs on which the 
Tokugawa badge is emblazoned in gold, as it is everywhere on 
these shrines where it would not be quite out of keeping. 
The roofs are so massive that they require all the strength of 
the heavy carved timbers below, and, like all else, they gleam 
with gold, or that which simulates it. 

The shrines are the most wonderful work of their kind in 
Japan. In their stately setting of cryptomeria, few of which 
are less than 20 feet in girth at 3 feet from the ground, they 
take one prisoner by their beauty, in defiance of all rules of 
western art, and compel one to acknowledge the beauty of 
forms and combinations of colour hitherto unknown, and that 
lacquered wood is capable of lending itself to the expression 
of a very high idea in art. Gold has been used in profusion, 
and black, dull red, and white, with a breadth and lavishness 
quite unique. The bronze fret-work alone is a study, and 
the wood-carving needs weeks of earnest work for the 
mastery of its ideas and details. One screen or railing only 
has sixty panels, each 4 feet long, carved with marvellous 
boldness and depth in open work, representing peacocks, 
pheasants, storks, lotuses, peonies, bamboos, and foliage. 
The fidelity to form and colour in the birds, and the repro- 
duction of the glory of motion, could not be excelled. 

Yet the flowers please me even better. Truly the artist 
has revelled in his work, and has carved and painted with joy. 
The lotus leaf retains its dewy bloom, the peony its shades of 
creamy white, the bamboo leaf still trembles on its graceful 
stem, in contrast to the rigid needles of the pine, and countless 
corollas, in all the perfect colouring of passionate life, unfold 
themselves amidst the leafage of the gorgeous tracery. These 
carvings are from 10 to 15 inches deep, and single feathers in 


the tails of the pheasants stand out fully 6 inches in front of 
peonies nearly as deep. 

The details fade from my memory daily as I leave the 
shrines, and in their place are picturesque masses of black and 
red lacquer and gold, gilded doors opening without noise, 
halls laid with matting so soft that not a footfall sounds, across 
whose twilight the sunbeams fall aslant on richly arabesqued 
walls and panels carved with birds and flowers, and on ceilings 
panelled and wrought with elaborate art, of inner shrines of 
gold, and golden lilies six feet high, and curtains of gold 
brocade, and incense fumes, and colossal bells and golden 
ridge poles ; of the mythical fauna, kirin, dragon, and howo, 
of elephants, apes, and tigers, strangely mingled with flowers 
and trees, and golden tracery, and diaper work on a gold 
ground, and lacquer screens, and pagodas, and groves of 
bronze lanterns, and shaven priests in gold brocade, and 
Shinto attendants in black lacquer caps, and gleams of sunlit 
gold here and there, and simple monumental urns, and a 
mountain-side covered with a cryptomeria forest, with rose 
azaleas lighting up its solemn shade. I. L. B. 



A Japanese Pack-Horse and Pack-Saddle Yadoya and Attendant A Native 
Watering- Place The Sulphur Baths A "Squeeze." 

June 22. 

TO-DAY I have made an experimental journey on horseback, 
have done fifteen miles in eight hours of continuous travelling, 
and have encountered for the first time the Japanese pack- 
horse an animal of which many unpleasing stories are told, 
and which has hitherto been as mythical to me as the kirin, or 
dragon. I have neither been kicked, bitten, nor pitched off, 
however, for mares are used exclusively in this district, gentle 
creatures about fourteen hands high, with weak hind-quarters, 
and heads nearly concealed by shaggy manes and forelocks. 
They are led by a rope round the nose, and go barefoot, 
except on stony ground, when the mago, or man who leads 
them, ties straw sandals on their feet. The pack-saddle is 
composed of two packs of straw eight inches thick, faced with 
red, and connected before and behind by strong oak arches 
gaily painted or lacquered. There is for a girth a rope 
loosely tied under the body, and the security of the load de- 
pends on a crupper, usually a piece of bamboo attached to 
the saddle by ropes strung with wooden counters, and another 
rope round the neck, into which you put your foot as you 
scramble over the high front upon the top of the erection. 
The load must be carefully balanced or it comes to grief, and 
the mago handles it all over first, and, if an accurate division 
of weight is impossible, adds a stone to one side or the other. 
Here, women who wear enormous rain hats and gird their 
kimonos over tight blue trousers, both load the horses and lead 
them. I dropped upon my loaded horse from the top of a 
wall, the ridges, bars, tags, and knotted rigging of the saddle 



being smoothed over by a folded futon, or wadded cotton 
quilt, and I was then fourteen inches above the animal's back, 
with my feet hanging over his neck. You must balance 
yourself carefully, or you bring the whole erection over ; but 
balancing soon becomes a matter of habit. If the horse does 
not stumble, the pack-saddle is tolerable on level ground, but 


most severe on the spine in going up hill, and so intolerable 
in going down that I was relieved when I found that I had 
slid over the horse's head into a mud-hole ; and you are quite 
helpless, as he does not understand a bridle, if you have one, 
and blindly follows his leader, who trudges on six feet in front 
of him. 

The hard day's journey ended in an exquisite yadoya, 
beautiful within and without, and more fit for fairies than for 
travel-soiled mortals. The fusuma are light planed wood with 
a sweet scent, the matting nearly white, the balconies polished 
pine. On entering, a smiling girl brought me some plum 


flower tea with a delicate almond flavour, a sweetmeat made 
of beans and sugar, and a lacquer bowl of frozen snow. 
After making a difficult meal from a fowl of much experience, 


I spent the evening out of doors, as a Japanese watering-place 
is an interesting novelty. 

There is scarcely room between the lake and the mount- 
ains for the picturesque village with its trim neat houses, one 
above another, built of reddish cedar newly planed. The 
snow lies ten feet deep here in winter, and on October 10 the 
people wrap their beautiful dwellings up in coarse matting, 


not even leaving the roofs uncovered, and go to the low 
country till May 10, leaving one man in charge, who is re- 
lieved once a week. Were the houses mine I should be 
tempted to wrap them up on every rainy day ! I did quite 
the wrong thing in riding here. It is proper to be carried up 
in a kago, or covered basket. 

The village consists of two short streets, 8 feet wide 
composed entirely of yadoyas of various grades, with a pictur- 
esquely varied frontage of deep eaves, graceful balconies, rows 
of Chinese lanterns, and open lower fronts. The place is full 
of people, and the four bathing -sheds were crowded. Some 
energetic invalids bathe twelve times a day ! Every one who 
was walking about carried a blue towel over his arm, and the 
rails of the balconies were covered with blue towels hanging to 
dry. There can be very little amusement The mountains 
rise at once from the village, and are so covered with jungle 
that one can only walk in the short streets or along the track 
jy which I came. There is one covered boat for excursions 
on the lake, and a few geishas were playing the samisen; but, 
as gaming is illegal, and there is no place of public resort 
except the bathing-sheds, people must spend nearly all their 
time in bathing, sleeping, smoking, and eating. The great 
spring is beyond the village, in a square tank in a mound. It 
bubbles up with much strength, giving off fetid fumes. There 
are broad boards laid at intervals across it, and people crippled 
with rheumatism go and lie for hours upon them for the 
advantage of the sulphurous steam. The temperature of the 
spring is 130 F.; but after the water has travelled to the 
village, along an open wooden pipe, it is only 84. Yumoto 
is over 4000 feet high, and very cold. 

IRIMICHI. Before leaving Yumoto I saw the modus oper- 
andi of a "squeeze." I asked for the bill, when, instead of 
giving it to me, the host ran upstairs and asked Ito how much 
it should be, the two dividing the overcharge. Your servant 
gets a " squeeze " on everything you buy, and on your hotel 
expenses, and, as it is managed very adroitly, and you cannot 
prevent it, it is best not to worry about it so long as it keeps 
within reasonable limits. I. L. B. 



Peaceful Monotony A Japanese School A Dismal Ditty Punishment A 
Children's Party A Juvenile Belle Female Names A Juvenile Drama 
Needlework Caligraphy Arranging Flowers Kanaya Daily Routine 
An Evening's Entertainment Planning Routes The God-shelf. 

IRIMICHI, NiKKd, June 23. 

MY peacefully monotonous life here is nearly at an end. The 
people are so quiet and kindly, though almost too still, and I 
have learned to know something of the externals of village life, 
and have become quite fond of the place. 

The village of Irimichi, which epitomises for me at present 
the village life of Japan, consists of about three hundred 
houses built along three roads, across which steps in fours and 
threes are placed at intervals. Down the middle of each a 
rapid stream runs in a stone channel, and this gives endless 
amusement to the children, specially to the boys, who devise 
many ingenious models and mechanical toys, which are put 
in motion by water-wheels. But at 7 A.M. a drum beats to 
summon the children to a school whose buildings would not 
discredit any school-board at home. Too much Europeanised 
I thought it, and the children looked very uncomfortable 
sitting on high benches in front of desks, instead of squatting, 
native fashion. The school apparatus is very good, and there 
are fine maps on the walls. The teacher, a man about 
twenty-five, made very free use of the black-board, and 
questioned his pupils with much rapidity. The best answer 
moved its giver to the head of the class, as with us. Obedi- 
ence is the foundation of the Japanese social order, and'with 
children accustomed to unquestioning obedience at home the 
teacher has no trouble in securing quietness, attention, and 
docility. There was almost a painful earnestness in the old- 


fashioned faces which pored over the school-books ; even 
such a rare event as the entrance of a foreigner failed to 
distract these childish students. The younger pupils were 
taught chiefly by object lessons, and the older were exercised 
in reading geographical and historical books aloud, a very 
high key being adopted, and a most disagreeable tone, both 
with the Chinese and Japanese pronunciation. Arithmetic 
and the elements of some of the branches of natural philo- 
sophy are also taught. The children recited a verse of 
poetry which I understood contained the whole of the simple 
syllabary. It has been translated thus : 

" Colour and perfume vanish away. 
What can be lasting in this world ? 
To-day disappears in the abyss of nothingness ; 
It is but the passing image of a dream, and causes only 
a slight trouble." 

It b the echo of the wearied sensualist's cry, "Vanity of 
vanities, all is vanity," and indicates the singular Oriental 
distaste for life, but is a dismal ditty for young children to 
learn. The Chinese classics, formerly the basis of Japanese 
education, are now mainly taught as a vehicle for conveying 
a knowledge of the Chinese character, in acquiring even a 
moderate acquaintance with which the children undergo a 
great deal of useless toil 

The penalties for bad conduct used to be a few blows with 
a switch on the front of the leg, or a slight burn with the moxa 
on the forefinger still a common punishment in households ; 
but I understood the teacher to say that detention in the 
school-house is the only punishment now resorted to, and he 
expressed great disapprobation of our plan of imposing an 
added task. When twelve o'clock came the children marched 
in orderly fashion out of the school grounds, the boys in one 
division and the girls in another, after which they quietly 

On going home the children dine, and in the evening in 
nearly every house you hear the monotonous hum of the 
preparation of lessons. After dinner they are liberated for 
play, but the girls often hang about the house with babies on 
their backs the whole afternoon nursing dolls. One evening 


I met a procession of sixty boys and girls, all carrying white 
flags with black balls, except the leader, who carried a white 
flag with a gilded ball, and they sang, or rather howled, as they 
walked ; but the other amusements have been of a most 
sedentary kind. The mechanical toys, worked by water-wheels 
in the stream, are most fascinating. 

Formal children's parties have been given in this house, 
for which formal invitations, in the name of the house-child, a 
girl of twelve, are sent out About 3 P.M. the guests arrive, 
frequently attended by servants ; and this child, Haru, receives 
them at the top of the stone steps, and conducts each into the 
reception room, where they are arranged according to some 
well-understood rules of precedence. Hani's hair is drawn 
back, raised in front, and gathered into a double loop, in 
which some scarlet crepe is twisted. Her face and throat are 
much whitened, the paint terminating in three points at the 
back of the neck, from which all the short hair has been care- 
fully extracted with pincers. Her lips are slightly touched 
with red paint, and her face looks like that of a cheap doll. 
She wears a blue, flowered silk kimono, with sleeves touching 
the ground, a blue girdle lined with scarlet, and a fold of 
scarlet crepe lies between her painted neck and her kimono. 
On her little feet she wears white tabi, socks of cotton cloth, 
with a separate place for the great toe, so as to allow the 
scarlet-covered thongs of the finely lacquered clogs, which she 
puts on when she stands on the stone steps to receive her 
guests, to pass between it and the smaller toes. All the other 
little ladies were dressed in the same style, and all looked like 
ill-executed dolls. She met them with very formal but grace- 
ful bows. 

When they were all assembled, she and her very graceful 
mother, squatting before each, presented tea and sweetmeats 
on lacquer trays, and then they played at very quiet and polite 
games till dusk. They addressed each other by their names 
with the honorific prefix (9, only used in the case of women, 
and the respectful affix San; thus Haru becomes O-Haru-San, 
which is equivalent to " Miss." A mistress of a house is 
addressed as O-Kanti-San, and O-Kusuma something like 
"my lady" is used to married ladies. Women have no 
surnames ; thus you do not speak of Mrs. Saguchi, but of the 


wife of Saguchi San; and you would address her as O~Kusuma. 
Among the children's names were Haru, Spring ; Yuki, Snow ; 
Hana, Blossom ; Kiku, Chrysanthemum ; Gin, Silver. 

One of their games was most amusing, and was played 
with some spirit and much dignity. It consisted in one child 
feigning sickness and another playing the doctor, and the 
pompousness and gravity of the latter, and the distress and 
weakness of the former, were most successfully imitated. 
Unfortunately the doctor killed his patient, who counterfeited 
the death-sleep very effectively with her whitened face ; and 
then followed the funeral and the mourning. They dramatise 
thus weddings, dinner-parties, and many other of the events 
of life. The dignity and self-possession of these children are 
wonderful The fact is that their initiation into all that is 
required by the rules of Japanese etiquette begins as soon as 
they can speak, so that by the time they are ten years old 
they know exactly what to do and avoid under all possible 
circumstances. Before they went away tea and sweetmeats 
were again handed round, and, as it is neither etiquette to 
refuse them or to leave anything behind that you have once 
taken, several of the small ladies slipped the residue into their 
capacious sleeves. On departing the same formal courtesies 
were used as on arriving. 

Yuki, Haru's mother, speaks, acts, and moves with a 
charming gracefulness. Except at night, and when friends 
drop in to afternoon tea, as they often do, she is always either 
at domestic avocations, such as cleaning, sewing, or cooking, 
or planting vegetables, or weeding them. All Japanese girls 
learn to sew and to make their own clothes, but there are 
none of the mysteries and difficulties which make the sewing 
lesson a thing of dread with us. The kimono, haori, and 
girdle, and even the long hanging sleeves, have only parallel 
seams, and these are only tacked or basted, as the garments, 
when washed, are taken to pieces, and each piece, after being 
very slightly stiffened, is stretched upon a board to dry There 
is no underclothing, with its bands, frills, gussets, and button- 
holes ; the poorer women wear none, and those above them 
wear, like Yuki, an under-dress of a frothy-looking silk crepe, 
as simply made as the upper one. There are circulating 
libraries here, as in most villages, and in the evening both 


Yuki and Haru read love stories, or accounts of ancient 
heroes and heroines, dressed up to suit the popular taste, 
written in the easiest possible style. Ito has about ten 
volumes of novels in his room, and spends half the night in 
reading them. 

Yuki's son, a lad of thirteen, often comes to my room to 
display his skill in writing the Chinese character. He is a 
very bright boy, and shows considerable talent for drawing. 
Indeed, it is only a short step from writing to drawing. 
Giotto's O hardly involved more breadth and vigour of touch 
than some of these characters. They are written with a 
camel's-hair brush dipped in Indian ink, instead of a pen, 
and this boy, with two or three vigorous touches, produces 
characters a foot long, such as are mounted and hung as 
tablets outside the different shops. Yuki plays the samisen, 
which may be regarded as the national female instrument, and 
Haru goes to a teacher daily for lessons on the same. 

The art of arranging flowers is taught in manuals, the 
study of which forms part of a girl's education, and there is 
scarcely a day in which my room is not newly decorated. It 
is an education to me ; I am beginning to appreciate the 
extreme beauty of solitude in decoration. In the alcove 
hangs a kakemono of exquisite beauty, a single blossoming 
branch of the cherry. On one panel of a folding screen there 
is a single iris. The vases which hang so gracefully on the 
polished posts contain each a single peony, a single iris, a 
single azalea, stalk, leaves, and corolla all displayed in their 
full beauty. Can anything be more grotesque and barbarous 
than our " florists' bouquets," a series of concentric rings of 
flowers of divers colours, bordered by maidenhair and a piece 
of stiff lace paper, in which stems, leaves, and even petals are 
brutally crushed, and the grace and individuality of each 
flower systematically destroyed ? 

Kanaya is the chief man in this village, besides being the 
leader of the dissonant squeaks and discords which represent 
music at the Shinto festivals, and in some mysterious back 
region he compounds and sells drugs. Since I have been 
here the beautification of his garden has been his chief object, 
and he has made a very respectable waterfall, a rushing stream, 
a small lake, a rustic bamboo bridge, and several grass banks, 


and has transplanted several large trees. He kindly goes out 
with me a good deal, and, as he is very intelligent, and Ito is 
proving an excellent, and, I think, a faithful interpreter, I find 
it very pleasant to be here. 

They rise at daylight, fold up the wadded quilts G* futons 
on and under which they have slept, and put them and the 
wooden pillows, much like stereoscopes in shape, with little 
rolls of paper or wadding on the top, into a press with a sliding 
door, sweep the mats carefully, dust all the woodwork and the 
verandahs, open the amado wooden shutters which, by sliding 
in a groove along the edge of the verandah, box in the whole 
house at night, and retire into an ornamental projection in the 
day and throw the paper windows back. Breakfast follows, 
then domestic avocations, dinner at one, and sewing, gardening, 
and visiting till six, when they take the evening meal. 

Visitors usually arrive soon afterwards, and stay till eleven 
or twelve. Japanese chess, story-telling, and the samisen fill 
up the early part of the evening, but later, an agonising per- 
formance, which they call singing, begins, which sounds like 
the very essence of heathenishness, and consists mainly in a 
prolonged vibrating " No." As soon as I hear it I feel as if 
I were among savages. Sake, or rice beer, is always passed 
round before the visitors leave, in little cups with the gods of 
luck at the bottom of them. Sake, when heated, mounts 
readily to the head, and a single small cup excites the half- 
witted man-servant to some very foolish musical performances. 
I am sorry to write it, but his master and mistress take great 
pleasure in seeing him make a fool of himself, and Ito, who is 
from policy a total abstainer, goes into convulsions of laughter. 

One evening I was invited to join the family, and they 
entertained me by showing me picture and guide books. Most 
Japanese provinces have their guide-books, illustrated by wood- 
cuts of the most striking objects, and giving itineraries, names 
of yadoyas, and other local information. One volume of 
pictures, very finely executed on silk, was more than a century 
old. Old gold lacquer and china, and some pieces of antique 
embroidered silk, were also produced for my benefit, and some 
musical instruments of great beauty, said to be more than two 
centuries old. None of these treasures are kept in the house, 
but in the Aura, or fireproof storehouse, close by. The rooms 


are not encumbered by ornaments ; a single kakemono, or fine 
piece of lacquer or china, appears for a few days and then 
makes way for something else ; so they have variety as well as 
simplicity, and each object is enjoyed in its turn without 

Kanaya and his sister often pay me an evening visit, and, 
with Brunton's map on the floor, we project astonishing routes 
to Niigata, which are usually abruptly abandoned on finding a 
mountain-chain in the way with never a road over it. The life 
of these people seems to pass easily enough, but Kanaya 
deplores the want of money ; he would like to be rich, and 
intends to build a hotel for foreigners. 

The only vestige of religion in his house is the kamtdana, 
or god-shelf, on which stands a wooden shrine like a Shint6 
temple, which contains the memorial tablets to deceased 
relations. Each morning a sprig of evergreen and a little rice 
and sak'e are placed before it, and every evening a lighted 


LETTER X. (Continued.) 

Darkness visible Nikkd Shops Girls and Matrons Night and Sleep 
Parental Love Childish Docility Hair-dressing Skin Diseases. 

I DON'T wonder that the Japanese rise early, for their evenings 
are cheerless, owing to the dismal illumination. In this and 
other houses the lamp consists of a square or circular lacquer 
stand, with four uprights, 2\ feet high, and panes of white 
paper. A flatted iron dish is suspended in this full of oil, 
with the pith of a rush with a weight in the centre laid across 
it, and one of the projecting ends is lighted. This wretched 
apparatus is called an andon, and round its wretched " dark- 
ness visible " the family huddles the children to play games 
and learn lessons, and the women to sew; for the Japanese 
daylight i short and the houses are dark. Almost more 
deplorable is a candlestick of the same height as the andon, 
with a spike at the top which fits into a hole at the bottom of 
a " farthing candle " of vegetable wax, with a thick wick made 
of rolled paper, which requires constant snuffing, and, after 
giving for a short time a dim and jerky light, expires with a 
bad smell. Lamps, burning mineral oils, native and imported, 
are being manufactured on a large scale, but, apart from the 
peril connected with them, the carriage of oil into country 
districts is very expensive. No Japanese would think of 
sleeping without having an andon burning all night in his 

These villages are full of shops. There is scarcely a house 
which does not sell something. Where the buyers come from, 
and how a profit can be made, is a mystery. Many of the 
things are eatables, such as dried fishes, i inch long, impaled 
on sticks ; cakes, sweetmeats composed of rice, flour, and very 
little sugar ; circular lumps of rice dough, called nwchi; roots 

D 2 


boiled in brine ; a white jelly made from beans ; and ropes, 
straw shoes for men and horses, straw cloaks, paper umbrellas, 
paper waterproofs, hair-pins, tooth-picks, tobacco pipes, paper 
mouchotrs, and numbers of other trifles made of bamboo, straw, 
grass, and wood. These goods are on stands, and in the room 
behind, open to the street, all the domestic avocations are 
going on, and the housewife is usually to be seen boiling water 
or sewing with a baby tucked into the back of her dress. A 
lucifer factory has recently been put up, and in many house 
fronts men are cutting up wood into lengths for matches. In 
others they are husking rice, a very laborious process, in which 
the grain is pounded in a mortar sunk in the floor by a flat- 
ended wooden pestle attached to a long horizontal lever, which 
is worked by the feet of a man, invariably naked, who stands 
at the other extremity. 

In some women are weaving, in others spinning cotton. 
Usually there are three or four together the mother, the eldest 
son's wife, and one or two unmarried girls. The girls marry 
at sixteen, and shortly these comely, rosy, wholesome-looking 
creatures pass into haggard, middle-aged women with vacant 
faces, owing to the blackening of the teeth and removal of the 
eyebrows, which, if they do not follow betrothal, are resorted 
to on the birth of the first child. In other houses women are 
at their toilet, blackening their teeth before circular metal 
mirrors placed in folding stands on the mats, or performing 
ablutions, unclothed to the waist Early the village is very 
silent, while the children are at school ; their return enlivens it 
a little, but they are quiet even at play ; at sunset the men 
return, and things are a little livelier ; you hear a good deal of 
splashing in baths, and after that they carry about and play 
with their younger children, while the older ones prepare 
lessons for the following day by reciting them in a high, 
monotonous twang. At dark the paper windows are drawn, 
the amado, or external wooden shutters, are closed, the lamp is 
lighted before the family shrine, supper is eaten, the children 
play at quiet games round the andon; and about ten the quilts 
and wooden pillows are produced from the press, the amadc 
are bolted, and the family lies down to sleep in one room. 
Small trays of food and the tabako-bon are always within reach 
of adult sleepers, and one grows quite accustomed to hear the 


sound of ashes being knocked out of the pipe at intervals 
during the night. The children sit up as late as their parents, 
and are included in all their conversation, 

I never saw people take so much delight in their offspring, 
carrying them about, or holding their hands in walking, 
watching and entering into their games, supplying them con- 
stantly with new toys, taking them to picnics and festivals, 
never being content to be without them, and treating other 
people's children also with a suitable measure of affection and 
attention. Both fathers and mothers take a pride in their 
children. It is most amusing about six every morning to see 
twelve or fourteen men sitting on a low wall, each with a child 
under two years in his arms, fondling and playing with it, and 
showing off its physique and intelligence. To judge from 
appearances, the children form the chief topic at this morning 
gathering. At night, after the houses are shut up, looking 
through the long fringe of rope or rattan which conceals the 
sliding door, you see the father, who wears nothing but a maro 
in "the bosom of his family," bending his ugly, kindly face 
over a gentle-lookipg baby, and the mother, who more often 
than not has dropped the kimono from her shoulders, enfolding 
two children destitute of clothing in her arms. For some 
reasons they prefer boys, but certainly girls are equally petted 
and loved. The children, though for our ideas too gentle and 
formal, are very prepossessing in looks and behaviour. They 
are so perfectly docile and obedient, so ready to help their 
parents, so good to the little ones, and, in the many hours 
which I have spent in watching them at play, I have never 
heard an angry word or seen a sour look or act. But they 
are little men and women rather than children, and their old- 
fashioned appearance is greatly aided by their dress, which, as 
I have remarked before, is the same as that of adults. 

There are, however, various styles of dressing the hair of 
girls, by which you can form a pretty accurate estimate of any 
girl's age up to her marriage, when the coiffure undergoes a 
definite change. The boys all look top-heavy and their heads 
of an abnormal size, partly from a hideous practice of shaving 
the head altogether for the first three years. After this the 
hair is allowed to grow in three tufts, one over each ear, and 
the other at the back of the neck ; as often, however, a tuft is 


grown at the top of the back of the head. At ten the crown 
alone is shaved and a forelock is worn, and at fifteen, when 
the boy assumes the responsibilities of manhood, his hair is 
allowed to grow like that of a man. The grave dignity of 
these boys, with the grotesque patterns on their big heads, is 
most amusing. 

Would that these much-exposed skulls were always smooth 
and clean ! It is painful to see the prevalence of such 
repulsive maladies as scabies, scald-head, ringworm, sore 
eyes, and unwholesome -looking eruptions, and fully 30 per 
cent of the village people are badly seamed with smallpox 


LETTER ^(Completed.) 

Shops and Shopping The Barber's Shop A Paper Waterproof Ito's Vanity 
Preparations for the Journey Transport and Prices Money and 

I HAVE had to do a little shopping in Hachiishi for my 
journey. The shop-fronts, you must understand, are all open, 
and at the height of the floor, about two feet from the ground, 
there is a broad ledge of polished wood on which you sit 
down. A woman everlastingly boiling water on a bronze 
hibachi, or brazier, shifting the embers about deftly with brass 
tongs like chopsticks, and with a baby looking calmly over her 
shoulders, is the shopwoman ; but she remains indifferent till 
she imagines that you have a definite purpose of buying, when 
she comes forward bowing to the ground, and I politely rise 
and bow too. Then I or Ito ask the price of a thing, and 
she names it, very likely asking 45. for what ought to sell at 
6d. You say 35., she laughs and says 35. 6d. ; you say 25., 
she laughs again and says 33., offering you the tabako-bon. 
Eventually the matter is compromised by your giving her is., 
at which she appears quite delighted. With a profusion of 
bows and " sayo naras " on each side, you go away with the 
pleasant feeling of having given an industrious woman twice 
as much as the thing was worth to her, and less than what it 
is worth to you 1 

There are several barbers' shops, and the evening seems a 
very busy time with them. This operation partakes of the 
general want of privacy of the life of the village, and is per- 
formed in the raised open front of the shop. Soap is not 
used, and the process is a painful one. The victims let their 
garments fall to their waists, and each holds in his left hand a 
lacquered tray to receive the croppings. The ugly Japanese 


face at this time wears a most grotesque expression of stolid 
resignation as it is held and pulled about by the operator, 
who turns it in all directions, that he may judge of the effect 
that he is producing. The shaving the face till it is smooth 
and shiny, and the cutting, waxing, and tying of the queue 
with twine made of paper, are among the evening sights of 

Lacquer and things curiously carved in wood are the great 
attractions of the shops, but they interest me far less than the 
objects of utility in Japanese daily life, with their ingenuity of 
contrivance and perfection of adaptation and workmanship. 
A seed shop, where seeds are truly idealised, attracts me daily. 
Thirty varieties are offered for sale, as various in form as they 
are in colour, and arranged most artistically on stands, while 
some are put up in packages decorated with what one may 
call a facsimile of the root, leaves, and flower, in water-colours. 
A lad usually lies on the mat behind executing these very 
creditable pictures for such they are with a few bold and 
apparently careless strokes with his brush. He gladly sold me a 
peony as a scrap for a screen for 3 sen. My purchases, with this 
exception, were necessaries only a paper waterproof cloak, 
" a circular," black outside and yellow inside, made of square 
sheets of oiled paper cemented together, and some large sheets 
of the same for covering my baggage; and I succeeded in 
getting Ito out of his obnoxious black wide-awake into a basin- 
shaped hat like mine, for, ugly as I think him, he has a large 
share of personal vanity, whitens his teeth, and powders his 
face carefully before a mirror, and is in great dread of sunburn. 
He powders his hands too, and polishes his nails, and never 
goes out without gloves. 

To-morrow I leave luxury behind and plunge into the 
interior, hoping to emerge somehow upon the Sea of Japan. 
No information can be got here except about the route to 
Niigata, which I have decided not to take, so, after much study 
of Brunton's map, I have fixed upon one place, and have said 
positively, " I go to Tajima." If I reach it I can get farther, 
but all I can learn is, " It's a very bad road, it's all among the 
mountains." Ito, who has a great regard for his own comforts, 
tries to dissuade me from going by saying that I shall lose 
mine, but, as these kind people have ingeniously repaired my 


bed by doubling the canvas and lacing it into holes in the 
side poles, 1 and as I have lived for the last three days on rice, 
eggs, and coarse vermicelli about the thickness and colour of 
earth-worms, this prospect does not appal me ! In Japan there 
is a Land Transport Company, called Riku-un-kaisha, with a 
head-office in Tokiyo, and branches in various towns and 
villages. It arranges for the transport of travellers and mer- 
chandise by pack-horses and coolies at certain fixed rates, and 
gives receipts in due form. It hires the horses from the 
farmers, and makes a moderate profit on each transaction, 
but saves the traveller from difficulties, delays, and extortions. 
The prices vary considerably in different districts, and are 
regulated by the price of forage, the state of the roads, and 
the number of hireable horses. For a ri, nearly 2\ miles, 
they charge from 6 to 10 sen for a horse and the man who 
leads it, for a kuruma with one man from 4 to 9 sen for the 
same distance, and for baggage coolies about the same. 
[This Transport Company is admirably organised. I employed 
it in journeys of over 1200 miles, and always found it 
efficient and reliable.] I intend to make use of it always, 
much against Ito's wishes, who reckoned on many a prospective 
" squeeze " in dealings with the farmers. 

My journey will now be entirely over " unbeaten tracks," 
and will lead through what may be called " Old Japan ;" and 
as it will be natural to use Japanese words for money and 
distances, for which there are no English terms, I give them 
here, kyen is a note representing a dollar, or about 35. yd. 
of our money; a sen is something less than a halfpenny; a rin 
is a thin round coin of iron or bronze, with a square hole in 
the middle, of which 10 make a sen, and 1000 a. yen; and a 
tempo is a handsome oval bronze coin with a hole in the centre, 
of which 5 make 4 sen. Distances are measured by ri, chd, 
and ken. Six feet make one ken, sixty ken one cho, and thirty- 
six chd one ri, or nearly 2 English miles. When I write of a 
road I mean a bridle-path from four to eight feet wide, kuruma 
roads being specified as such. I. L. B. 

1 I advise every traveller in the ruder regions of Japan to take a similar 
stretcher and a good mosquito net. With these he may defy all ordinary 



Comfort disappears Fine Scenery An Alarm A Farm-house An unusual 
Costume Bridling a Horse Female Dress and Ugliness Babies My 
Mago Beauties of the Kinugawa Fujihara My Servant Horse-shoes 
An absurd Mistake. 

FUJIHARA, June 24. 

Ixo's informants were right. Comfort was left behind at 
Nikko ! 

A little woman brought two depressed-looking mares at six 
this morning ; my saddle and bridle were put on one, and Ito 
and the baggage on the other ; my hosts and I exchanged 
cordial good wishes and obeisances, and, with the women 
dragging my sorry mare by a rope round her nose, we left the 
glorious shrines and solemn cryptomeria groves of Nikko 
behind, passed down its long, clean street, and where the In 
Memoriam avenue is densest and darkest turned off to the 
left by a path like the bed of a brook, which afterwards, as a 
most atrocious trail, wound about among the rough boulders 
of the Daiya, which it crosses often on temporary bridges of 
timbers covered with branches and soil. After crossing one 
of the low spurs of the Nikkosan mountains, we wound among 
ravines whose steep sides are clothed with maple, oak, mag- 
nolia, elm, pine, and cryptomeria, linked together by festoons 
of the redundant Wistaria chinensis, and brightened by azalea 
and syringa clusters. Every vista was blocked by some grand 
mountain, waterfalls thundered, bright streams glanced through 
the trees, and in the glorious sunshine of June the country 
looked most beautiful 

We travelled less than a ri an hour, as it was a mere 
flounder either among rocks or in deep mud, the woman in 
her girt-up dress and straw sandals trudging bravely along, till 


she suddenly flung away the rope, cried out, and ran back- 
wards, perfectly scared by a big grey snake, with red spots, 
much embarrassed by a large frog which he would not let go, 
though, like most of his kind, he was alarmed by human 
approach, and made desperate efforts to swallow his victim 
and wriggle into the bushes, After .crawling for three hours 
we dismounted at the mountain farm of Kohiaku, on the edge 
of a rice valley, and the woman counted her packages to see 
that they were all right, and without waiting for a gratuity 
turned homewards with her horses. I pitched my chair in 
the verandah of a house near a few poor dwellings inhabited 
by peasants with large families, the house being in the barn- 
yard of a rich sakb maker. I waited an hour, grew famished, 
got some weak tea and boiled barley, waited another hour, 
and yet another, for all the horses were eating leaves on 
the mountains. There was a little stir. Men carried sheaves 
of barley home on their backs, and stacked them under the 
eaves. Children, with barely the rudiments of clothing, stood 
and watched me hour after hour, and adults were not ashamed 
to join the group, for they had never seen a foreign woman, 
a fork, or a spoon. Do you remember a sentence in Dr. 
Macgregor's last sermon ? " What strange sights some of you 
will see ! " Could there be a stranger one than a decent-look- 
ing middle-aged man lying on his chest in the verandah, 
raised on his elbows, and intently reading a book, clothed 
only in a pair of spectacles ? Besides that curious piece of 
still life, women frequently drew water from a well by the 
primitive contrivance of a beam suspended across an upright, 
with the bucket at one end and a stone at the other. 

When the horses arrived the men said they could not 
put on the bridle, but, after much talk, it was managed by two 
of them violently forcing open the jaws of the animal, while a 
third seized a propitious moment for slipping the bit into her 
mouth. At the next change a bridle was a thing unheard of, 
and when I suggested that the creature would open her mouth 
voluntarily if the bit were pressed close to her teeth, the 
standers-by mockingly said, " No horse ever opens his mouth 
except to eat or to bite," and were only convinced after I 
had put on the bridle myself. The new horses had a rocking 
gait like camels, and I was glad to dispense with them at 



Kisagoi, a small upland hamlet, a very poor place, with 
poverty-stricken houses, children very dirty and sorely afflicted 
by skin maladies, and women with complexions and features 


hardened by severe work and much wood smoke into positive 
ugliness, and with figures anything but statuesque. 

I write the truth as I see it, and if my accounts conflict 
with those of tourists who write of the Tokaido and Naka- 
sendo, of Lake Biwa and Hakone, it does not follow that 
either is inaccurate. But truly this is a new Japan to me, of 
which no books have given me' any idea, and it is not fairy- 


land. The men may be said to wear nothing. Few of the 
women wear anything but a short petticoat wound tightly 
round them, or blue cotton trousers very tight in the legs and 
baggy at the top, with a blue cotton garment open to the 
waist tucked into the band, and a blue cotton handkerchief 
knotted round the head. From the dress no notion of the 
sex of the wearer could be gained, nor from the faces, if it 
were not for the shaven eyebrows and black teeth. The short 
petticoat is truly barbarous-looking, and when a woman has a 
nude baby on her back or in her arms, and stands staring 
vacantly at the foreigner, I can hardly believe myself in 
" civilised " Japan. A good-sized child, strong enough to 
hold up his head, sees the world right cheerfully looking over 
his mother's shoulders, but it is a constant distress to me to 
see small children of six and seven years old lugging on 
their backs gristly babies, whose shorn heads are frizzling in 
the sun and " wobbling " about as though they must drop off, 
their eyes, as nurses say, " looking over their heads." A 
number of silk-worms are kept in this region, and in the open 
barns groups of men in nature's costume, and women un- 
clothed to their waists, were busy stripping mulberry branches. 
The houses were all poor, and the people dirty both in their 
clothing and persons. Some of the younger women might 
possibly have been comely, if soap and water had been 
plentifully applied to their faces ; but soap is not used, and 
such washing as the garments get is only the rubbing them 
a little with sand in a running stream. I will give you an 
amusing instance of the way in which one may make absurd 
mistakes. I heard many stories of the viciousness and aggres- 
siveness of pack-horses, and was told that they were muzzled 
to prevent them from pasturing upon the haunches of their 
companions and making vicious snatches at men. Now, I 
find that the muzzle is only to prevent them from eating as 
they travel. Mares are used exclusively in this region, and 
they are the gentlest of their race. If you have the weight of 
baggage reckoned at one horse-load, though it should turn out 
that the weight is too great for a weakly animal, and the 
Transport agent distributes it among two or even three horses, 
you only pay for one ; and though our corftge on leaving 
Kisagoi consisted of four small, shock-headed mares who 


could hardly see through their bushy forelocks, with three 
active foals, and one woman and three girls to lead them, 1 
only paid for two horses at 7 sen a ri. 

My mago, with her toil-hardened, thoroughly good-natured 
face rendered hideous by black teeth, wore straw sandals, blue 
cotton trousers with a vest tucked into them, as poor and 
worn as they could be, and a blue cotton towel knotted round 
her head. As the sky looked threatening she carried a straw 
rain-cloak, a thatch of two connected capes, one fastening at 
the neck, the other at the waist, and a flat hat of flags, 2 feet 
in diameter, hung at her back like a shield. Up and down, 
over rocks and through deep mud, she trudged with a steady 
stride, turning her kind, ugly face at intervals to see if the 
girls were following. I like the firm hardy gait which this 
unbecoming costume permits better than the painful shuffle 
imposed upon the more civilised women by their tight skirts 
and high clogs. 

From Kohiaku the road passed through an irregular grassy 
valley between densely-wooded hills, the valley itself timbered 
with park-like clumps of pine and Spanish chestnuts ; but on 
leaving Kisagoi the scenery changed. A steep rocky tract 
brought us to the Kinugawa, a clear rushing river, which has 
cut its way deeply through coloured rock, and is crossed at a 
considerable height by a bridge with an alarmingly steep curve, 
from which there is a fine view of high mountains, and among 
them Futarayama, to which some of the most ancient Shinto 
legends are attached. We rode for some time within hearing 
of the Kinugawa, catching magnificent glimpses of it frequently 
turbulent and locked in by walls of porphyry, or widening 
and calming and spreading its aquamarine waters over great 
slabs of pink and green rock, lighted fitfully by the sun, or 
spanned by rainbows, or pausing to rest in deep shady pools, 
but always beautiful. The mountains through which it forces 
its way on the other side are precipitous and wooded to their 
summits with coniferae, while the less abrupt side, along which 
the tract is carried, curves into green knolls in its lower slopes, 
sprinkled with grand Spanish chestnuts scarcely yet in blossom, 
with maples which have not yet lost the scarlet which they 
wear in spring as well as autumn, and with many flowering 
trees and shrubs which are new to me, and with an under- 


growth of red azaleas, syringa, blue hydrangea the very blue 
of heaven yellow raspberries, ferns, clematis, white and 
yellow lilies, blue irises, and fifty other trees and shrubs 
entangled and festooned by the wistaria, whose beautiful 
foliage is as common as is that of the bramble with us. The 
redundancy of the vegetation was truly tropical, and the 
brilliancy and variety of its living greens, dripping with recent 
rain, were enhanced by the slant rays of the afternoon sun. 

The few hamlets we passed are of farm-houses only, the 
deep-eaved roofs covering in one sweep dwelling-house, barn, 
and stable. In every barn unclothed people were pursuing 
various industries. We met strings of pack-mares, tied head 
and tail, loaded with rice and sake, and men and women 
carrying large creels full of mulberry leaves. The ravine grew 
more and more beautiful, and an ascent through a dark wood 
of arrowy cryptomeria brought us to this village exquisitely 
situated, where a number of miniature ravines, industriously 
terraced for rice, come down upon the great chasm of the 
Kinugawa. Eleven hours of travelling have brought me 
eighteen miles ! 

IKARI, June 25. Fujihara has forty-six farm-houses and a 
yadoya all dark, damp, dirty, and draughty, a combination of 
dwelling-house, barn, and stable. The yadoya consisted of a 
datdokoro, or open kitchen, and stable below, and a small loft 
above, capable of division, and I found on returning from a 
walk six Japanese in extreme deshabille occupying the part 
through which I had to pass. On this being remedied I sat 
down to write, but was soon driven upon the balcony, under 
the eaves, by myriads of fleas, which hopped out of the mats 
as sandhoppers do out of the sea sand, and even in the balcony, 
hopped over my letter. There were two outer walls of hairy 
mud with living creatures crawling in the cracks ; cobwebs 
hung from the uncovered rafters. The mats were brown with 
age and dirt, the rice was musty, and only partially cleaned, 
the eggs had seen better days, and the tea was musty. 

I saw everything out of doors with Ito the patient industry, 
the exquisitely situated village, the evening avocations, the 
quiet dulness and then contemplated it all from my balcony 
and read the sentence (from a paper in the Transactions of the 
Asiatic Society) which had led me to devise this journey, 


" There is a most exquisitely picturesque, but difficult, route up 
the course of the Kinugawa, which seems almost as unknown 
to Japanese as to foreigners." There was a pure lemon- 
coloured sky above, and slush a foot deep below. A 
road, at this time a quagmire, intersected by a rapid stream, 
crossed in many places by planks, runs through the village. 
This stream is at once " lavatory " and " drinking fountain." 
People come back from their work, sit on the planks, take off 
their muddy clothes and wring them out, and bathe their feet 
in the current. On either side are the dwellings, in front of 
which are much-decayed manure heaps, and the women were 
engaged in breaking them up and treading them into a pulp 
with their bare feet. All wear the vest and trousers at their 
work, but only the short petticoats in their houses, and I saw 
several respectable mothers of families cross the road and pay 
visits in this garment only, without any sense of impropriety. 
The younger children wear nothing but a string and an amulet. 
The persons, clothing, and houses are alive with vermin, and 
if the word squalor can be applied to independent and indus- 
trious people, they were squalid. Beetles, spiders, and wood- 
lice held a carnival in my room after dark, and the presence 
of horses in the same house brought a number of horse- 
flies. I sprinkled my stretcher with insect powder, but my 
blanket had been on the floor for one minute, and fleas 
rendered sleep impossible. The night was very long. The 
andon went out, leaving a strong smell of rancid oil. The 
primitive Japanese dog a cream-coloured wolfish -looking 
animal, the size of a collie, very noisy and aggressive, but as 
cowardly as bullies usually are was in great force in Fujihara, 
and the barking, growling, and quarrelling of these useless 
curs continued at intervals until daylight ; and when they 
were not quarrelling, they were howling. Torrents of rain fell, 
obliging me to move my bed from place to place to get out of 
the drip. At five Ito came and entreated me to leave, whim- 
pering, " I've had no sleep ; there are thousands and thousands 
of fleas !" He has travelled by another route to the Tsugaru 
Strait through the interior, and says that he would not have 
believed that there was such a place in Japan, and that people 
in Yokohama will not believe it when he tells them of it and 
of the costume of the women. He is " ashamed for a foreigner 


to see such a place," he says. His cleverness in travelling and 
his singular intelligence surprise me daily. He is very anxious 
to speak good English, as distinguished from " common " Eng- 
lish, and to get new words, with their correct pronunciation and 
spelling. Each day he puts down in his note-book all the words 
that I use that he does not quite understand, and in the evening 
brings them to me and puts down their meaning and spelling 
with their Japanese equivalents. He speaks English already far 
better than many professional interpreters, but would be more 
pleasing if he had not picked up some American vulgarisms and 
free-and-easy ways. It is so important to me to have a good 
interpreter, or I should 'not have engaged so young and 
inexperienced a servant ; but he is so clever that he is now 
able to be cook, laundryman, and general attendant, as well as 
courier and interpreter, and I think it is far easier for me than 
if he were an older man. I am trying to manage him, because 
I saw that he meant to manage me, specially in the matter of 
" squeezes." He is intensely Japanese, his patriotism has all 
the weakness and strength of personal vanity, and he thinks 
everything inferior that is foreign. Our manners, eyes, and 
modes of eating appear simply odious to him. He delights 
in retailing stories of the bad manners of Englishmen, describes 
them as "roaring out ohio to every one on the road," 
frightening the tea-house nymphs, kicking or slapping their 
coolies, stamping over white mats in muddy boots, acting 
generally like ill-bred Satyrs, exciting an ill-concealed hatred 
in simple country districts, and bringing themselves and their 
country into contempt and ridicule. 1 He is very anxious about 
my good behaviour, and as I am equally anxious to be courteous 
everywhere in Japanese fashion, and not to violate the general 
rules of Japanese etiquette, I take his suggestions as to what 
I ought to do and avoid in very good part, and my bows are 
growing more profound every day ! The people are so kind 
and courteous, that it is truly brutal in foreigners not to be 
kind and courteous to them. You will observe that I am 
entirely dependent on Ito, not only for travelling arrangements, 
but for making inquiries, gaining information, and even for 
companionship, such as it is ; and our being mutually embarked 

1 This can only be true of the behaviour of the lowest excursionists from 
the Treaty Ports. 


on a hard and adventurous journey will, I hope, make us 
mutually kind and considerate. Nominally, he is a Shintoist, 
which means nothing. At Nikko I read to him the earlier 
chapters of St. Luke, and when I came to the story of the 
Prodigal Son I was interrupted by a somewhat scornful laugh 
and the remark, "Why, all this is our Buddha over again !" 

To-day's journey, though very rough, has been rather 
pleasant The rain moderated at noon, and I left Fujihara on 
foot, wearing my American " mountain dress " and Wellington 
boots, the only costume in which ladies can enjoy pedestrian 
or pack-horse travelling in this country, with a light straw 
mat the waterproof of the region hanging over my shoulders, 
and so we plodded on with two baggage horses through the 
ankle-deep mud, till the rain cleared off, the mountains looked 
through the mist, the augmented Kinugawa thundered below, 
and enjoyment became possible, even in my half-fed condition. 
Eventually I mounted a pack-saddle, and we crossed a spur of 
Takadayama at a height of 2100 feet on a well-devised series 
of zigzags, eight of which in one place could be seen one 
below another. The forest there is not so dense as usual, and 
the lower mountain slopes are sprinkled with noble Spanish 
chestnuts. The descent was steep and slippery, the horse had 
tender feet, and, after stumbling badly, eventually came down, 
and I went over his head, to the great distress of the kindly 
female mago. The straw shoes tied with wisps round the 
pasterns are a great nuisance. The " shoe strings " are always 
coming untied, and the shoes only wear about two ri on soft 
ground, and less than one on hard. They keep the feet so 
soft and spongy that the horses can't walk without them at all, 
and as soon as they get thin your horse begins to stumble, the 
mago gets uneasy, and presently you stop ; four shoes, which 
are hanging from the saddle, are soaked in water and are 
tied on with much coaxing, raising the animal fully an inch 
above the ground. Anything more temporary and clumsy 
could not be devised. The bridle paths are strewn with them, 
and the children collect them in heaps to decay for manure. 
They cost 3 or 4 sen the set, and in every village men spend 
their leisure time in making them. 

At the next stage, called Takahara, we got one horse for 
the baggage, crossed the river and the ravine, and by a steep 


climb reached a solitary yadoya with the usual open front and 
iron, round which a number of people, old and young, were 
sitting. When I arrived a whole bevy of nice-looking girls 
took to flight, but were soon recalled by a word from I to to 
their elders. Lady Parkes, on a side-saddle and in a riding- 
habit, has been taken for a man till the people saw her hair, 
and a young friend of mine, who is very pretty and has a 
beautiful complexion, when travelling lately with her husband, 
was supposed to be a man who had shaven off his beard. I 
wear a hat, which is a thing only worn by women in the fields 
as a protection from sun and rain, my eyebrows are unshaven, 
and my teeth are unblackened, so these girls supposed me to 
be a foreign man. Ito in explanation said, " They haven't 
seen any, but everybody brings them tales how rude foreigners 
are to girls, and they are awful scared." There was nothing 
eatable but rice and eggs, and I ate them under the concen- 
trated stare of eighteen pairs of dark eyes. The hot springs, 
to which many people afflicted with sores resort, are by the 
river, at the bottom of a rude flight of steps, in an open shed, 
but I could not ascertain their temperature, as a number of 
men and women were sitting in the water. They bathe four 
times a day, and remain for an hour at a time. 

We left for the five miles' walk to Ikari in a torrent of 
rain by a newly-made path completely shut in with the cas- 
cading Kinugawa, and carried along sometimes low, sometimes 
high, on props projecting over it from the face of the rock. I 
do not expect to see anything lovelier in Japan. 

The river, always crystal-blue or crystal-green, largely 
increased in volume by the rains, forces itself through gates of 
brightly-coloured rock, by which its progress is repeatedly 
arrested, and rarely lingers for rest in all its sparkling, rushing 
course. It is walled in by high mountains, gloriously wooded 
and cleft by dark ravines, down which torrents were tumbling 
in great drifts of foam, crashing and booming, boom and crash 
multiplied by many an echo, and every ravine afforded glimpses 
far back of more mountains, clefts, and waterfalls, and such 
over-abundant vegetation that I welcomed the sight of a gray 
cliff or bare face of rock. Along the path there were fas- 
cinating details, composed of the manifold greenery which revels 
in damp heat, ferns, mosses, conferva, fungi, trailers, shading 


tiny rills which dropped down into grottoes feathery with the 
exquisite Trichomams radicans, or drooped over the rustic path 
and hung into the river, and overhead the finely incised and 
almost feathery foliage of several varieties of maple admitted 
the light only as a green mist. The spring tints have not yet 
darkened into the monotone of summer, rose azaleas still light 
the hillsides, and masses of cryptomeria give depth and shadow. 
Still, beautiful as it all is, one sighs for something which shall 
satisfy one's craving for startling individuality and grace of 
form, as in the coco-palm and banana of the tropics. The 
featheriness of the maple, and the arrowy straightness and 
pyramidal form of the cryptomeria, please me better than all 
else ; but why criticise ? Ten minutes of sunshine would 
transform the whole into fairyland. 

There were no houses and no people. Leaving this 
beautiful river we crossed a spur of a hill, where all the trees 
were matted together by a very fragrant white honeysuckle, and 
came down upon an open valley where a quiet stream joins 
the loud-tongued Kinugawa, and another mile brought us to 
this beautifully-situated hamlet of twenty-five houses, sur- 
rounded by mountains, and close to a mountain stream called 
the Okawa. The names of Japanese rivers give one very 
little geographical information from their want of continuity. 
A river changes its name several times in a course of thirty or 
forty miles, according to the districts through which it passes. 
This is my old friend the Kinugawa, up which I have been 
travelling for two days. Want of space is a great aid to the 
picturesque. Ikari is crowded together on a hill slope, and 
its short, primitive-looking street, with its warm browns and 
greys, is quite attractive in " the clear shining after rain." My 
halting-place is at the express office at the top of the hill a 
place like a big barn, with horses at one end and a living-room 
at the other, and in the centre much produce awaiting trans- 
port, and a group of people stripping mulberry branches. The 
nearest daimiyo used to halt here on his way to Tokiyo, so 
there are two rooms for travellers, called daimiyo? rooms, 
fifteen feet high, handsomely ceiled in dark wood, the shoji of 
such fine work as to merit the name of fret-work, the fusuma 
artistically decorated, the mats clean and fine, and in the 
alcove a sword-rack of old gold lacquer. Mine is the inner 


room, and Ito and four travellers occupy the outer one. 
Though very dark, it is luxury after last night. The rest of 
the house is given up to the rearing of silk-worms. The house- 
masters here and at Fujihara are not used to passports, and 
Ito, who is posing as a town-bred youth, has explained and 
copied mine, all the village men assembling to hear it read 
aloud. He does not know the word used for " scientific in- 
vestigation," but, in the idea of increasing his own importance 
by exaggerating mine, I hear him telling the people that I am 
gakusha, i.e. learned ! There is no police-station here, but 
every month policemen pay domiciliary visits to these outlying 
yadoyas and examine the register of visitors. 

This is a much neater place than the last, but the people 
look stupid and apathetic, and I wonder what they think of the 
men who have abolished the daimiyd and the feudal regime, 
have raised the eta to citizenship, and are hurrying the empire 
forward on the tracks of western civilisation ! 

Since shingle has given place to thatch there is much to 
admire in the villages, with their steep roofs, deep eaves and 
balconies, the warm russet of roofs and walls, the quaint 
confusion of the farm-houses, the hedges of camellia and 
pomegranate, the bamboo clumps and persimmon orchards, 
and (in spite of dirt and bad smells) the generally satisfied look 
of the peasant proprietors. 

No food can be got here except rice and eggs, and I am 
haunted by memories of the fowls and fish of Nikko, to say 
nothing of the " flesh pots " of the Legation, and 

" a sorrow's crown of sorrow 

Is remembering happier things !" 

The mercury falls to 70* at night, and I generally awake from 
cold at 3 A.M., for my blankets are only summer ones, and I 
dare not supplement them with a quilt, either for sleeping on 
or under, because of the fleas which it contains. I usually 
retire about 7.30, for there is almost no twilight, and very little 
inducement for sitting up by the dimness of candle or andon, 
and I have found these days of riding on slow, rolling, stumbling 
horses very severe, and if I were anything of a walker, should 
certainly prefer pedestrianism. I. L. B. 



A Fantastic Jumble The "Quiver" of Poverty The Water-shed From Bad 
to Worse The Rice Planter's Holiday A Diseased Crowd Amateur 
Doctoring Want of Cleanliness Rapid Eating Premature Old Age. 


AFTER the hard travelling of six days the rest of Sunday in a 
quiet place at a high elevation is truly delightful ! Mountains 
and passes, valleys and rice swamps, forests and rice swamps, 
villages and rice swamps; poverty, industry, dirt, ruinous 
temples, prostrate Buddhas, strings of straw-shod pack-horses ; 
long, grey, featureless streets, and quiet, staring crowds, are 
all jumbled up fantastically in my memory. Fine weather 
accompanied me through beautiful scenery from Ikari to 
Yokokawa, where I ate my lunch in the street to avoid the 
innumerable fleas of the tea-house, with a circle round me of 
nearly all the inhabitants. At first the children, both old and 
young, were so frightened that they ran away, but by degrees 
they timidly came back, clinging to the skirts of their parents 
(skirts, in this case, being a metaphorical expression), running 
away again as often as I looked at them. The crowd was 
filthy and squalid beyond description. Why should the 
" quiver " of poverty be so very full ? one asks as one looks 
at the swarms of gentle, naked, old-fashioned children, born 
to a heritage of hard toil, to be, like their parents, devoured 
by vermin, and pressed hard for taxes. A horse kicked off 
my saddle before it was girthed, the crowd scattered right and 
left, and work, which had been suspended for two hours to 
stare at the foreigner, began again. 

A long ascent took us to the top of a pass 2500 feet in 
height, a projecting spur not 30 feet wide, with a grand view 
of mountains and ravines, and a maze of involved streams, 
which unite in a vigorous torrent, whose course we followed 


for some hours, till it expanded into a quiet river, lounging 
lazily through a rice swamp of considerable extent. The map 
is blank in this region, but I judged, as I afterwards found 
rightly, that at that pass we had crossed the water-shed, and 
that the streams thenceforward no longer fall into the Pacific, 
but into the Sea of Japan. At Itosawa the horses produced 
stumbled so intolerably that I walked the last stage, and 
reached Kayashima, a miserable village of fifty-seven houses, 
so exhausted that I could not go farther, and was obliged to 
put up with worse accommodation even than at Fujihara, with 
less strength for its hardships. 

The yadoya was simply awful. The daidokoro had a large 
wood fire burning in a trench, filling the whole place with 
stinging smoke, from which my room, which was merely 
screened off by some dilapidated shdji, was not exempt. 
The rafters were black and shiny with soot and moisture. 
The house-master, who knelt persistently on the floor of my 
room till he was dislodged by Ito, apologised for the dirt of 
his house, as well he might Stirling, dark, and smoky, as my 
room was, I had to close the paper windows, owing to the 
crowd which assembled in the street. There was neither rice 
nor soy, and Ito, who values his own comfort, began to speak 
to the house-master and servants loudly and roughly, and to 
throw my things about a style of acting which I promptly 
terminated, for nothing could be more hurtful to a foreigner, 
or more unkind to the people, than for a servant to be rude 
and bullying; and the man was most polite, and never 
approached me but on bended knees. When I gave him my 
passport, as the custom is, he touched his forehead with it, 
and then touched the earth with his forehead 

I found nothing that I could eat except black beans and 
boiled cucumbers. The room was dark, dirty, vile, noisy, and 
poisoned by sewage odours, as rooms unfortunately are very 
apt to be. At the end of the rice planting there is a holiday 
for two days, when many offerings are made to Inari, the god 
of rice farmers ; and the holiday-makers kept up their revel all 
night, and drums, stationary and peripatetic, were constantly 
beaten in such a way as to prevent sleep. 

A little boy, the house-master's son, was suffering from a 
very bad cough, and a few drops of chlorodyne which I gave 


him allayed it so completely that the cure was noised abroad 
in the earliest hours of the next morning, and by five o'clock 
nearly the whole population was assembled outside my room, 
with much whispering and shuffling of shoeless feet, and 
applications of eyes to the many holes in the paper windows. 
When I drew aside the shoji I was disconcerted by the painful 
sight which presented itself, for the people were pressing one 
upon another, fathers and mothers holding naked children 
covered with skin-disease, or with scald-head, or ringworm, 
daughters leading mothers nearly blind, men exhibiting painful 
sores, children blinking with eyes infested by flies and nearly 
closed with ophthalmia ; and all, sick and well, in truly " vile 
raiment," lamentably dirty and swarming with vermin, the sick 
asking for medicine, and the well either bringing the sick or 
gratifying an apathetic curiosity. Sadly I told them that I did 
not understand their manifold "diseases and torments," and 
that, if I did, I had no stock of medicines, and that in my own 
country the constant washing of clothes, and the constant 
application of water to the skin, accompanied by friction with 
clean cloths, would be much relied upon by doctors for the 
cure and prevention of similar cutaneous diseases. To pacify 
them I made some ointment of animal fat and flowers of 
sulphur, extracted with difficulty from some man's hoard, and 
told them how to apply it to some of the worst cases. The 
horse, being unused to a girth, became fidgety as it was being 
saddled, creating a stampede among the crowd, and the mago 
would not touch it again. They are as much afraid of their 
gentle mares as if they were panthers. All the children 
followed me for a considerable distance, and a good many of 
the adults made an excuse for going in the same direction. 

These people wear no linen, and their clothes, which are 
seldom washed, are constantly worn, night and day, as long as 
they will hold together. They seal up their houses as her- 
metically as they can at night, and herd together in numbers 
in one sleeping-room, with its atmosphere vitiated, to begin with, 
by charcoal and tobacco fumes, huddled up in their dirty 
garments in wadded quilts, which are kept during the day in 
close cupboards, and are seldom washed from one year's end 
to another. The tatami, beneath a tolerably fair exterior, 
swarm with insect life, and are receptacles of dust, organic 


matters, etc. The hair, which is loaded with oil and bandoline, 
is dressed once a week, or less often in these districts, and it is 
unnecessary to enter into any details regarding the distressing 
results, and much besides may be left to the imagination. The 
persons of the people, especially of the children, are infested 
with vermin, and one fruitful source of skin sores is the irritation 
arising from this cause. The floors of houses, being concealed 
by mats, are laid down carelessly with gaps between the boards, 
and, as the damp earth is only 1 8 inches or 2 feet below, emana- 
tions of all kinds enter the mats and pass into the rooms. 

The houses in this region (and I believe everywhere) are 
hermetically sealed at night, both in summer and winter, the 
amado, which are made without ventilators, literally boxing them 
in, so that, unless they are falling to pieces, which is rarely the 
case, none of the air vitiated by the breathing of many persons, 
by the emanations from their bodies and clothing, by the mias- 
mata produced by defective domestic arrangements, and by the 
fumes from charcoal hibachi, can ever be renewed Exercise 
is seldom taken from choice, and, unless the women work in 
the fields, they hang over charcoal fumes the whole day for 
five months of the year, engaged in interminable processes of 
cooking, or in the attempt to get warm. Much of the food of 
the peasantry is raw or half-raw salt fish, and vegetables ren- 
dered indigestible by being coarsely pickled, all bolted with the 
most marvellous rapidity, as if the one object of life were to 
rush through a meal in the shortest possible time. The married 
women look as if they had never known youth, and their skin 
is apt to be like tanned leather. At Kayashima I asked the 
house-master's wife, who looked about fifty, how old she was 
(a polite question in Japan), and she replied twenty-two one 
of many similar surprises. Her boy was five years old, and 
was still unweaned. 

This digression disposes of one aspect of the population. 1 

1 Many unpleasant details have necessarily been omitted. If the reader 
requires any apology for those which are given here and elsewhere, it must be 
found in my desire to give such a faithful picture of peasant life, as I saw it in 
Northern Japan, as may be a contribution to the general sum of knowledge of 
the country, and, at the same time, serve to illustrate some of the difficulties 
which the Government has to encounter in its endeavour to raise masses of 
people as deficient as these are in some of the first requirements of civilisation. 

L L. a 


LETTER XII. (Concluded.) 

A Japanese Ferry A Corrugated Road The Pass of Sanno Various Vegeta 
tion An Unattractive Undergrowth Preponderance of Men. 

WE changed horses at Tajima, formerly a daimiy&s resi- 
dence, and, for a Japanese town, rather picturesque. It 
makes and exports clogs, coarse pottery, coarse lacquer, and 
coarse baskets. 

After travelling through rice-fields varying from thirty yards 
square to a quarter of an acre, with the tops of the dykes 
utilised by planting dwarf beans along them, we came to a 
large river, the Arakai, along whose affluents we had been 
tramping for two days, and, after passing through several filthy 
villages, thronged with filthy and industrious inhabitants, crossed 
it in a scow. High forks planted securely in the bank on 
either side sustained a rope formed of several strands of the 
wistaria knotted together. One man hauled on this hand over 
hand, another poled at the stern, and the rapid current did the 
rest. In this fashion we have crossed many rivers subsequently. 
Tariffs of charges are posted at all ferries, as well as at all 
bridges where charges are made, and a man sits in an office to 
receive the money. 

The country was really very beautiful. The views were 
wider and finer than on the previous days, taking in great 
sweeps of peaked mountains, wooded to their summits, and 
from the top of the Pass of Sanno the clustered peaks were 
glorified into unearthly beauty in a golden mist of evening 
sunshine. I slept at a house combining silk farm, post office, 
express office, and daimiy&s rooms, at the hamlet of Ouchi, 
prettily situated in a valley with mountainous surroundings, 


and, leaving early on the following morning, had a very grand 
ride, passing in a crateriform cavity the pretty little lake of 
Oyake, and then ascending the magnificent pass of Ichikawa. 
We turned off what, by ironical courtesy, is called the main 
road, upon a villainous track, consisting of a series of lateral 
corrugations, about a foot broad, with depressions between 
them more than a foot deep, formed by the invariable treading 
of the pack-horses in each other's footsteps. Each hole was a 
quagmire of tenacious mud, the ascent of 2400 feet was very 
steep, and the mago adjured the animals the whole time with 
Hail Hai I Hai I which is supposed to suggest to them that 
extreme caution is requisite. Their shoes were always coming 
untied, and they wore out two sets in four miles. The top of 
the pass, like that of a great many others, is a narrow ridge, 
on the farther side of which the track dips abruptly into a 
tremendous ravine, along whose side we descended for a mile 
or so in company with a river whose reverberating thunder 
drowned all attempts at speech. A glorious view it was, 
looking down between the wooded precipices to a rolling 
wooded plain, lying in depths of indigo shadow, bounded by 
ranges of wooded mountains, and overtopped by heights 
heavily splotched with snow ! The vegetation was significant 
of a milder climate. The magnolia and bamboo re-appeared, 
and tropical ferns mingled with the beautiful blue hydrangea, 
the yellow Japan lily, and the great blue campanula. There 
was an ocean of trees entangled with a beautiful trailer 
(Actinidia polygama) with a profusion of white leaves, which, 
at a distance, look like great clusters of white blossoms. But 
the rank undergrowth of the forests of this region is not 
attractive. Many of its component parts deserve the name of 
weeds, being gawky, ragged umbels, coarse docks, rank nettles, 
and many other things which I don't know, and never wish to 
see again. Near the end of this descent my mare took the 
bit between her teeth and carried me at an ungainly gallop 
into the beautifully situated, precipitous village of Ichikawa, 
which is absolutely saturated with moisture by the spray of a 
fine waterfall which tumbles through the middle of it, and its 
trees and road-side are green with the Protococcus viridis. The 
Transport Agent there was a woman. Women keep yadoyas 
and shops, and cultivate farms as freely as men. Boards 


giving the number of inhabitants, male and female, and the 
number of horses and bullocks, are put up in each village, 
and I noticed in Ichikawa, as everywhere hitherto, that men 
preponderate. 1 I. L. B. 

1 The excess of males over females in the capital is 36,000. and in the 
whole Empire nearly half a million. 



The Plain of Wakamatsu Light Costume The Takata Crowd A Congress 
of Schoolmasters Timidity of a Crowd Bad Roads Vicious Horses 
Mountain Scenery A Picturesque Inn Swallowing a Fish-bone Poverty 
and Suicide An Inn-kitchen England Unknown! My Breakfast 


A SHORT ride took us from Ichikawa to a plain about eleven 
miles broad by eighteen long. The large town of Wakamatsu 
stands near its southern end, and it is sprinkled with towns 
and villages. The great lake of Iniwashiro is not far off. 
The plain is rich and fertile. In the distance the steep roofs 
of its villages, with their groves, look very picturesque. As 
usual not a fence or gate is to be seen, or any other hedge 
than the tall one used as a screen for the dwellings of the 
richer farmers. 

Bad roads and bad horses detracted from my enjoyment. 
One hour of a good horse would have carried me across the 
plain ; as it was, seven weary hours were' expended upon it. 
The day degenerated, and closed in still, hot rain ; the air was 
stifling and electric, the saddle slipped constantly from being 
too big, the shoes were more than usually troublesome, the 
horseflies tormented, and the men and horses crawled. The 
rice-fields were undergoing a second process of puddling, and 
many of the men engaged in it wore only a hat, and a fan 
attached to the girdle. 

An avenue of cryptomeria and two handsome and some- 
what gilded Buddhist temples denoted the approach to a place 
of some importance, and such Takata is, as being a large town 
with a considerable trade in silk, rope, and minjin, and the 
residence of one of the higher officials of the ken or prefecture. 
The street is a mile long, and every house is a shop. The 


general aspect is mean and forlorn.- In these little-travelled 
districts, as soon as one reaches the margin of a town, the first 
man one meets turns and flies down the street, calling out the 
Japanese equivalent of " Here's a foreigner !" and soon blind 
and seeing, old and young, clothed and naked, gather together. 
At the yadoya the crowd assembled in such force that the 
house-master removed me to some pretty rooms in a garden ; 
but then the adults climbed on the house-roofs which over- 
looked it, and the children on a palisade at the end, which 
broke down under their weight, and admitted the whole 
inundation ; so that I had to close the sMj't, with the fatiguing 
consciousness during the whole time of nominal rest of a 
multitude surging outside. Then five policemen in black 
alpaca frock-coats and white trousers invaded my precarious 
privacy, desiring to see my passport a demand never made 
before except where I halted for the night In their European 
clothes they cannot bow with Japanese punctiliousness, but 
they were very polite, and expressed great annoyance at the 
crowd, and dispersed it; but they had hardly disappeared 
when it gathered again. When I went out I found fully 1000 
people helping me to realise how the crowded cities of Judea 
sent forth people clothed much as these are when the Miracle- 
Worker from Galilee arrived, but not what the fatigue of the 
crowding and buzzing must have been to One who had been 
preaching and working during the long day. These Japanese 
crowds, however, are quiet and gentle, and never press rudely 
upon one. I could not find it in my heart to complain of 
them except to you. Four of the policemen returned, and 
escorted me to the outskirts of the town. The noise made 
by 1000 people shuffling along in clogs is like the clatter of a 

After this there was a dismal tramp of five hours through 
rice-fields. The moist climate and the fatigue of this manner 
of travelling are deteriorating my health, and the pain in my 
spine, which has been daily increasing, was so severe that I 
could neither ride nor walk for more than twenty minutes at a 
time ; and the pace was so slow that it was six when we 
reached Bange, a commercial town of 5000 people, literally 
in the rice swamp, mean, filthy, damp, and decaying, and full 
of an overpowering stench from black, slimy ditches. The 

LETTER xiii.] A STAMPEDE. 101 

mercury was 84, and hot rain fell fast through the motionless 
air. We dismounted in a shed full of bales of dried fish, 
which gave off an overpowering odour, and wet and dirty 
people crowded in to stare at the foreigner till the air seemed 

But there were signs of progress. A three days' congress 
of schoolmasters was being held ; candidates for vacant situa- 
tions were being examined ; there were lengthy educational 
discussions going on, specially on the subject of the value of 
the Chinese classics as a part of education ; and every inn 
was crowded. 

Bange* was malarious : there was so much malarious fever 
that the Government had sent additional medical assistance ; 
the hills were only a ri off, and it seemed essential to go on. 
But not a horse could be got till 10 P.M.; the road was worse 
than the one I had travelled ; the pain became more acute, 
and I more exhausted, and I was obliged to remain. Then 
followed a weary hour, in which the Express Agent's five 
emissaries were searching for a room, and considerably after 
dark I found myself in a rambling old over-crowded yadoya, 
where my room was mainly built on piles above stagnant 
water, and the mosquitoes were in such swarms as to make the 
air dense, and after a feverish and miserable night I was glad 
to get up early and depart. 

Fully 2000 people had assembled. After I was mounted I 
was on the point of removing my Dollond from the case, which 
hung on the saddle horn, when a regular stampede occurred, 
old and young running as fast as they possibly could, children 
being knocked down in the haste of their elders. Ito said 
that they thought I was taking out a pistol to frighten them, 
and I made him explain what the object really was, for they 
are a gentle, harmless people, whom one would not annoy 
without sincere regret. In many European countries, and 
certainly in some parts of our own, a solitary lady-traveller in 
a foreign dress would be exposed to rudeness, insult, and ex- 
tortion, if not to actual danger ; but I have not met with a 
single instance of incivility or real overcharge, and there is no 
rudeness even about the crowding. The mago are anxious 
that I should not get wet or be frightened, and very scrupulous 
in seeing that all straps and loose things are safe at the end of 


the journey, and, instead of hanging about asking for gratuities, 
or stopping to drink and gossip, they quickly unload the horses, 
get a paper from the Transport Agent, and go home. Only 
yesterday a strap was missing, and, though it was after dark, 
the man went back a ri for it, and refused to take some sen 
which I wished to give him, saying he was responsible for 
delivering everything right at the journey's end. They are so 
kind and courteous to each other, which is very pleasing. Ito 
is not pleasing or polite in his manner to me, but when he 
speaks to his own people he cannot free himself from the 
shackles of etiquette, and bows as profoundly and uses as 
many polite phrases as anybody else. 

In an hour the malarious plain was crossed, and we have 
been among piles of mountains ever since. The infamous 
road was so slippery that my horse fell several times, and the 
baggage horse, with Ito upon him, rolled head over heels, 
sending his miscellaneous pack in all directions. Good roads 
are really the most pressing need of Japan. It would be far 
better if the Government were to enrich the country by such a 
remunerative outlay as making passable roads for the transport 
of goods through the interior, than to impoverish it by buying 
ironclads in England, and indulging in expensive western 

That so horrible a road should have so good a bridge as 
that by which we crossed the broad river Agano is surprising. 
It consists of twelve large scows, each one secured to a strong 
cable of plaited wistari, which crosses the river at a great 
height, so as to allow of the scows and the plank bridge which 
they carry rising and falling with the twelve feet variation of 
the water. 

Ito's disaster kept him back for an hour, and I sat mean- 
while on a rice sack in the hamlet of Katakado, a collection 
of steep-roofed houses huddled together in a height above the 
Agano. It was one mob of pack-horses, over 200 of them, 
biting, squealing, and kicking. Before I could dismount, one 
vicious creature struck at me violently, but only hit the great 
wooden stirrup. I could hardly find any place out of the 
range of hoofs or teeth. My baggage horse showed great fury 
after he was unloaded. He attacked people right and left 
with his teeth, struck out savagely with his fore feet, lashed 


out with his hind ones, and tried to pin his master up against 
a wall. 

Leaving this fractious scene we struck again through the 
mountains. Their ranges were interminable, and every view 
from every fresh ridge grander than the last, for we were now 
near the lofty range of the Aidzu Mountains, and the double- 
peaked Bandaisan, the abrupt precipices of Itoyasan, and the 
grand mass of Miyojintake" in the south-west, with their vast 
snow-fields and snow-filled ravines, were all visible at once. 
These summits of naked rock or dazzling snow, rising above 
the smothering greenery of the lower ranges into a heaven of 
delicious blue, gave exactly that individuality and emphasis 
which, to my thinking, Japanese scenery usually lacks. Riding 
on first, I arrived alone at the little town of Nozawa, to encounter 
the curiosity of a crowd ; and, after a rest, we had a very 
pleasant walk of three miles along the side of a ridge above a 
rapid river with fine grey cliffs on its farther side, with a grand 
view of the Aidzu giants, violet coloured in a golden sunset. 

At dusk we came upon the picturesque village of Nojiri, 
on the margin of a rice valley, but I shrank from spending 
Sunday in a hole, and, having spied a solitary house on the 
very brow of a hill 1500 feet higher, I dragged out the inform- 
ation that it was a tea-house, and came up to it It took 
three-quarters of an hour to climb the series of precipitous 
zigzags by which this remarkable pass is surmounted ; darkness 
came on, accompanied by thunder and lightning, and just as we 
arrived a tremendous zigzag of blue flame lit up the house and 
its interior, showing a large group sitting round a wood fire, 
and then all was thick darkness again. It had a most start ling 
effect. This house is magnificently situated, almost hanging 
over the edge of the knife-like ridge of the pass of Kuruma, 
on which it is situated. It is the only yadoya I have been at 
from which there has been any view. The villages are nearly 
always in the valleys, and the best rooms are at the back, and 
have their prospects limited by the paling of the conventional 
garden. If it were not for the fleas, which are here in legions, 
I should stay longer, for the view of the Aidzu snow is delicious, 
and, as there are only two other houses, one can ramble with- 
out being mobbed. 

In one a child two and a half years old swallowed a fish- 


bone last night, and has been suffering and crying all day, and 
the grief of the mother so won Ito's sympathy that he took me 
to see her. She had walked up and down with it for eighteen 
hours, but never thought of looking into its throat, and was 
very unwilling that I should do so. The bone was visible, 
and easily removed with a crochet needle. An hour later the 
mother sent a tray with a quantity of cakes and coarse confec- 
tionery upon it as a present, with the piece of dried seaweed 
which always accompanies a gift. Before night seven people 
with sore legs applied for "advice." The sores were all 
superficial and all alike, and their owners said that they had 
been produced by the incessant rubbing of the bites of ants. 

On this summer day the country looks as prosperous as it 
is beautiful, and one would not think that acute poverty could 
exist in the steep-roofed village of Nojiri, which nestles at the 
foot of the hill ; but two hempen ropes dangling from a 
cryptomeria just below tell the sad tale of an elderly man who 
hanged himself two days ago, because he was too poor to pro- 
vide for a large family ; and the house-mistress and Ito tell 
me that when a man who has a young family gets too old or 
feeble for work he often destroys himself. 

My hostess is a widow with a family, a good-natured, 
bustling woman, with a great love of talk. All day her house 
is open all round, having literally no walls. The roof and 
solitary upper room are supported on posts, and my ladder 
almost touches the kitchen fire. During the day-time the 
large matted area under the roof has no divisions, and groups 
of travellers and magos lie about, for every one who has toiled 
up either side of Kurumatoge" takes a cup of "tea with 
eating," and the house-mistress is busy the whole day. A big 
well is near the fire. Of course there is no furniture ; but a 
shelf runs under the roof, on which there is a Buddhist god- 
house, with two black idols in it, one of them being that 
much-worshipped divinity, Daikoku, the god of wealth. Be- 
sides a rack for kitchen utensils, there is only a stand on which 
are six large brown dishes with food for sale salt shell-fish, 
in a black liquid, dried trout impaled on sticks, sea slugs in 
soy, a paste made of pounded roots, and green cakes made of 
the slimy river conferva, pressed and dried all ill-favoured and 
unsavoury viands. This afternoon a man without clothes was 


treading flour paste on a mat, a traveller in a blue silk robe 
was lying on the floor smoking, and five women in loose attire, 
with elaborate chignons and blackened teeth, were squatting 
round the fire. At the house-mistress's request I wrote a 
eulogistic description of the view from her house, and read it in 
English, Ito translating it, to the very great satisfaction of the 
assemblage. Then I was asked to write on four fans. The 
woman has never heard of England. It is not " a name to 
conjure with " in these wilds. Neither has she heard of 
America, She knows of Russia as a great power, and, of 
course, of China, but there her knowledge ends, though she 
has been at Tokiyo and Kiyoto. 

July i. I was just falling asleep last night, in spite of 
mosquitoes and fleas, when I was roused by much talking and 
loud outcries of poultry ; and Ito, carrying a screaming, 
refractory hen, and a man and woman whom he had with 
difficulty bribed to part with it, appeared by my bed. I feebly 
said I would have it boiled for breakfast, but when Ito called 
me this morning he told me with a most rueful face that just 
as he was going to kill it it had escaped to the woods ! In 
order to understand my feelings you must have experienced 
what it is not to have tasted fish, flesh, or fowl, for ten days 1 
The alternative was eggs and some of the paste which the man 
was treading yesterday on the mat cut into strips and boiled ! 
It was coarse flour and buckwheat, so, you see, I have learned 
not to be particular ! I. L. B. 

E 2 



An Infamous Road Monotonous Greenery Abysmal Dirt Low Lives 
The Tsugawa Yadoya Politeness A Shipping Port A "Barbarian 

TSUGAWA, July a. 

YESTERDAY'S journey was one of the most severe I have yet 
had, for in ten hours of hard travelling I only accomplished 
fifteen miles. The road from Kurumatoge* westwards is so 
infamous that the stages are sometimes little more than a mile. 
Yet it is by it, so far at least as the Tsugawa river, that the 
produce and manufactures of the rich plain of Aidzu, with its 
numerous towns, and of a very large interior district, must 
find an outlet at Niigata. In defiance of all modern ideas, it 
goes straight up and straight down hill, at a gradient that I 
should be afraid to hazard a guess at, and at present it is a 
perfect quagmire, into which great stones have been thrown, 
some of which have subsided edgewise, and others have 
disappeared altogether. It is the very worst road I ever rode 
over, and that is saying a good deal ! Kurumatoge" was the 
last of seventeen mountain-passes, oveir 2000 feet high, which 
I have crossed since leaving Nikko. Between it and Tsugawa 
the scenery, though on a smaller scale, is of much the same 
character as hitherto hills wooded to their tops, cleft by 
ravines which open out occasionally to divulge more distant 
ranges, all smothered in greenery, which, when I am ill- 
pleased, I am inclined to call "rank vegetation." Oh that 
an abrupt scaur, or a strip of flaming desert, or something 
salient and brilliant, would break in, however discordantly, 
upon this monotony of green ! 

The villages of that district must, I think, have reached 
the lowest abyss of filthiness in Hozawa and Saikaiyama. 
Fowls, dogs, horses, and people herded together in sheds black 


with wood smoke, and manure heaps drained into the wells. 
No young boy wore any clothing. Few of the men wore 
anything but the maro, the women were unclothed to their 
waists, and such clothing as they had was very dirty, and held 
together by mere force of habit. The adults were covered 
with inflamed bites of insects, and the children with skin- 
disease. Their houses were dirty, and, as they squatted on 
their heels, or lay face downwards, they looked little better 
than savages. Their appearance and the want of delicacy of 
their habits are simply abominable, and in the latter respect 
they contrast to great disadvantage with several savage peoples 
that I have been among. If I had kept to Nikko, Hakone, 
Miyanoshita, and similar places visited by foreigners with less 
time, I should have formed a very different impression. Is 
their spiritual condition, I often wonder, much higher than 
their physical one ? They are courteous, kindly, industrious, 
and free from gross crimes ; but, from the conversations that 
I have had with Japanese, and from much that I see, I judge 
that their standard of foundational morality is very low, and 
that life is neither truthful nor pure. 

I put up here at a crowded yadoya, where they have given 
me two cheerful rooms in the garden, away from the crowd. 
Ito's great desire on arriving at any place is to shut me up in 
my room and keep me a close prisoner till the start the next 
morning ; but here I emancipated myself, and enjoyed myself 
very much sitting in the daidokoro. The house-master is of the 
samurai, or two-sworded class, now, as such, extinct His face 
is longer, his lips thinner, and his nose straighter and more 
prominent than those of the lower class, and there is a differ- 
ence in his manner and bearing. I have had a great deal of 
interesting conversation with him. 

In the same open space his clerk was writing at a lacquer 
desk of the stereotyped form a low bench with the ends 
rolled over a woman was tailoring, coolies were washing their 
feet on the itama, and several more were squatting round the 
irori smoking and drinking tea. A coolie servant washed 
some rice for my dinner, but before doing so took off his 
clothes, and the woman who cooked it let her kimono fall to 
her waist before she began to work, as is customary among 
respectable women. The house-master's wife and Ito talked 


about me unguardedly. I asked what they were saying. 
"She says," said he, "that you are very polite for a 
foreigner," he added. I asked what she meant, and found 
that it was because I took off my boots before I stepped on 
the matting, and bowed when they handed me the tabako-bon. 
We walked through the town to find something eatable for 
to-morrow's river journey, but only succeeded in getting wafers 
made of white of egg and sugar, balls made of sugar and 
barley flour, and beans coated with sugar. Thatch, with its 
picturesqueness, has disappeared, and the Tsugawa roofs are 
of strips of bark weighted with large stones ; but, as the houses 
turn their gable ends to the street, and there is a promenade 
the whole way under the eaves, and the street turns twice at 
right angles and terminates in temple grounds on a bank 
above the river, it is less monotonous than most Japanese 
towns. It is a place of 3000 people, and a good deal of 
produce is shipped from hence to Niigata by the river. To- 
day it is thronged with pack-horses. I was much mobbed, 
and one child formed the solitary exception to the general 
rule of politeness by calling me a name equivalent to the 
Chinese Fan Kwai, "foreign;" but he was severely chidden, 
and a policeman has just called with an apology. A slice of 
fresh salmon has been produced, and I think I never tasted 
anything so delicious. I have finished the first part of my 
land journey, and leave for Niigata by boat to-morrow morning. 

I. L. B. 



A Hurry The Tsugawa Packet-boat Running the Rapids Fantastic 
Scenery The River-life Vineyards Drying Barley Summer Silence 
The Outskirts of Niigata The Church Mission House. 

NlIGATA, July 4. 

THE boat for Niigata was to leave at eight, but at five Ito 
roused me by saying they were going at once, as it was full, and 
we left in haste, the house-master running to the river with one 
of my large baskets on his back to " speed the parting guest." 
Two rivers unite to form a stream over whose beauty I would 
gladly have lingered, and the morning, singularly rich and 
tender in its colouring, ripened into a glorious day of light 
without glare, and heat without oppressiveness. The " packet " 
was a stoutly-built boat, 45 feet long by 6 broad, propelled by 
one man sculling at the stern, and another pulling a short 
broad-bladed oar, which worked in a wistaria loop at the bow. 
It had a croquet mallet handle about 1 8 inches long, to which 
the man gave a wriggling turn at each stroke. Both rower 
and sculler sfood the whole time, clad in umbrella hats. The 
fore part and centre carried bags of rice and crates of pottery, 
and the hinder part had a thatched roof which, when we 
started, sheltered twenty-five Japanese, but we dropped them 
at hamlets on the river, and reached Niigata with only three. 
I had my chair on the top of the cargo, and found the voyage 
a delightful change from the fatiguing crawl through quagmires 
at the rate of from 15 to 18 miles a day. This trip is called 
" running the rapids of the Tsugawa," because for about twelve 
miles the river, hemmed in by lofty cliffs, studded with visible 
and sunken rocks, making several abrupt turns and shallowing 
in many places, hurries a boat swiftly downwards ; and it is 


said that it requires long practice, skill, and coolness on the 
part of the boatmen to prevent grave and frequent accidents. 
But if they are rapids, they are on a small scale, and look 
anything but formidable. With the river at its present height 
the boats run down forty-five miles in eight hours, charging 
only 30 sen, or is. 3d., but it takes from five to seven days to 
get up, and much hard work in poling and towing. 

The boat had a thoroughly " native " look, with its bronzed 
crew, thatched roof, and the umbrella hats of all its passengers 
hanging on the mast. I enjoyed every hour of the day. It 
was luxury to drop quietly down the stream, the air was 
delicious, and, having heard nothing of it, the beauty of the 
Tsugawa came upon me as a pleasant surprise, besides that 
every mile brought me nearer the hoped-for home letters. 
Almost as soon as we left Tsugawa the downward passage was 
apparently barred by fantastic mountains, which just opened 
their rocky gates wide enough to let us through, and then 
closed again. Pinnacles and needles of bare, flushed rock 
rose out of luxuriant vegetation Quiraing without its bareness, 
the Rhine without its ruins, and more beautiful than both. 
There were mountains connected by ridges no broader than a 
horse's back, others with great gray buttresses, deep chasms 
cleft by streams, temples with pagoda roofs on heights, sunny 
villages with deep -thatched roofs hidden away among blos- 
soming trees, and through rifts in the nearer ranges glimpses 
of snowy mountains. 

After a rapid run of twelve miles through this enchanting 
scenery, the remaining course of the Tsugawa is that of a 
broad, full stream winding marvellously through a wooded and 
tolerably level country, partially surrounded by snowy mount- 
ains. The river life was very pretty. Canoes abounded, 
some loaded with vegetables, some with wheat, others with 
boys and girls returning from school. Sampans with their 
white puckered sails in flotillas of a dozen at a time crawled 
up the deep water, or were towed through the shallows by 
crews frolicking and shouting. Then the scene changed to a 
broad and deep river, with a peculiar alluvial smell from the 
quantity of vegetable matter held in suspension, flowing calmly 
between densely wooded, bamboo -fringed banks, just high 
enough to conceal the surrounding country. No houses, or 


nearly none, are to be seen, but signs of a continuity of 
population abound. Every hundred yards almost there is a 
narrow path to the river through the jungle, with a canoe 
moored at its foot Erections like gallows, with a swinging 
bamboo, with a bucket at one end and a stone at the other, 
occurring continually, show the vicinity of households de- 
pendent upon the river for their water supply. Wherever 
the banks admitted of it, horses were being washed by having 
water poured over their backs with a dipper, naked children 
were rolling in the mud, and cackling of poultry, human voices, 
and sounds of industry, were ever floating towards us from the 
dense greenery of the shores, making one feel without seeing 
that the margin was very populous. Except the boatmen and 
myself, no one was awake during the hot, silent afternoon it 
was dreamy and delicious. Occasionally, as we floated down, 
vineyards were visible with the vines trained on horizontal 
trellises, or bamboo rails, often forty feet long, nailed horizon- 
tally on cryptomeria to a height of twenty feet, on which small 
sheaves of barley were placed astride to dry till the frame was 

More forest, more dreams, then the forest and the abund- 
ant vegetation altogether disappeared, the river opened out 
among low lands and banks of shingle and sand, and by three 
we were on the outskirts of Niigata, whose low houses, with 
rows of stones upon their roofs, spread over a stretch of sand, 
beyond which is a sandy roll with some clumps of firs. Tea- 
houses with many balconies studded the river-side, and 
pleasure-parties were enjoying themselves with geishas and sake, 
but, on the whole, the water-side streets are shabby and 
tumble down, and the landward side of the great city of 
western Japan is certainly disappointing ; and it was difficult 
to believe it a Treaty Port, for the sea was not in sight, and 
there were no consular flags flying. We poled along one of 
the numerous canals, which are the carriage-ways for produce 
and goods, among hundreds of loaded boats, landed in the 
heart of the city, and, as the result of repeated inquiries, 
eventually reached the Church Mission House, an unshaded 
wooden building without verandahs, close to the Government 
Buildings, where I was most kindly welcomed by Mr. and 
Mrs. Fyson. 



The house is plain, simple, and inconveniently small ; but 
doors and walls are great luxuries, and you cannot imagine 
how pleasing the ways of a refined European household are 
after the eternal babblement and indecorum of the Japanese. 

I. L. B. 




(Kinugawa Route.) 

From T6kiyd to 

No. of houses. Ri. Cht. 

Nikk& 36 

Kohiaku 6 2 18 

Kisagoi 19 i 18 

Fujihara 46 2 19 

Takahara 15 2 10 

Ikari 25 2 

Nakamiyo IO I 24 

Yokokawa .... 20 2 21 

Itosawa 38 2 34 

Kayashima .... 57 I 4 

Tajima 250 I 21 

Toyonari 120 2 12 

Atomi 34 I 

Ouchi 27 2 12 

Ichikawa 7 2 22 

Takata 420 2 1 1 

Bange 910 3 4 

Katakado 50 I 20 

Nosawa 306 3 24 

Nojiri 110 I 27 

Kurumatoge .... 3 9 

Hozawa ..... 20 I 14 

Torige 21 I 

Sakaiyama 28 24 

Tsugawa 615 2 18 

Niigata .... 50,000 souls 18 

Ri. 101 
About 247 miles. 



Abominable Weather Insect Pests Absence of Foreign Trade A Refractory 
River Progress The Japanese City Water Highways Niigata Gardens 
Ruth Fyson The Winter Climate A Population in Wadding. 

NIIGATA, July 9. 

I HAVE spent over a week in Niigata, and leave it regretfully 
to-morrow, rather for the sake of the friends I have made than 
for its own interests. I never experienced a week of more 
abominable weather. The sun has been seen just once, the 
mountains, which are thirty miles off, not at all The clouds 
are a brownish grey, the air moist and motionless, and the 
mercury has varied from 82 in the day to 80 at night. The 
household is afflicted with lassitude and loss of appetite. 
Evening does not bring coolness, but myriads of flying, 
creeping, jumping, running creatures, all with power to hurt, 
which replace the day mosquitoes, villains with spotted legs,, 
which bite and poison one without the warning hum. The 
night mosquitoes are legion. There are no walks except in 
the streets and the public gardens, for Niigata is built on a 
sand spit, hot and bare. Neither can you get a view of it 
without climbing to the top of a wooden look-out. 

Niigata is a Treaty Port without foreign trade, and almost 
without foreign residents. Not a foreign ship visited the port 
either last year or this. There are only two foreign firms, and 
these are German, and only eighteen foreigners, of which 
number, except the missionaries, nearly all are in Government 
employment Its river, the Shinano, is the largest in Japan, 
and it and its affluents bring down a prodigious volume of 
water. But Japanese rivers are much choked with sand and 
shingle washed down from the mountains. In all that I have 
seen, except those which are physically limited by walls of hard 


rocic, a river-bed is a waste of sand, boulders, and shingle, 
through the middle of which, among sand-banks and shallows, 
the river proper takes its devious course. In the freshets, 
which occur to a greater or less extent every year, enormous 
volumes of water pour over these wastes, carrying sand and 
detritus down to the mouths, which are all obstructed by bars. 
Of these rivers the Shinano, being the biggest, is the most 
refractory, and has piled up a bar at its entrance through which 
there is only a passage seven feet deep, which is perpetually 
shallowing. The minds of engineers are much exercised upon 
the Shinano, and the Government is most anxious to deepen 
the channel and give Western Japan what it has not a 
harbour ; but the expense of the necessary operation is enor- 
mous, and in the meantime a limited ocean traffic is carried 
on by junks and by a few small Japanese steamers which call 
outside. 1 There is a British Vice-Consulate, but, except as a 
step, few would accept such a dreary post or outpost. 

But Niigata is a handsome, prosperous city of 50,000 
inhabitants, the capital of the wealthy province of Echigo, -with 
a population of one and a half millions, and is the seat of the 
Kenrei, or provincial governor, of the chief law courts, of fine 
schools, a hospital, and barracks. It is curious to find in such 
an excluded town a school deserving the designation of a 
college, as it includes intermediate, primary, and normal 
schools, an English school with 150 pupils, organised by 
English and American teachers, an engineering school, a 
geological museum, splendidly equipped laboratories, and the 
newest and most approved scientific and educational apparatus. 
The Government Buildings, which are grouped near Mr. 
Fyson's, are of painted white wood, and are imposing from 
their size and their innumerable glass windows. There is a 
large hospital 2 arranged by a European doctor, with a medical 

1 By one of these, not fitted up for passengers, I have sent one of my 
baskets to Hakodate, and by doing so have come upon one of the vexatious 
restrictions by which foreigners are harassed. It would seem natural to allow 
a foreigner to send his personal luggage from one Treaty Port to another with- 
out going through a number of formalities which render it nearly impossible, 
but it was only managed by Ito sending mine in his own name to a Japanese 
at Hakodate with whom he is slightly acquainted. 

2 This hospital is large and well ventilated, but has not as yet succeeded in 
attracting many in-patients ; out-patients, specially sufferers from ophthalmia, 
are very numerous. The Japanese chief physician regards the great prevalence 


school attached, and it, the Kencho, the Saibanc/w, or Court 
House, the schools, the barracks, and a large bank, which is 
rivalling them all, have a go-ahead, Europeanised look, bold, 
staring, and tasteless. There are large public gardens, very 
well laid out, and with finely gravelled walks. There are 300 
street lamps, which burn the mineral oil of the district. 

Yet, because the riotous Shinano persistently bars it out 
from the sea, its natural highway, the capital of one of the 
richest provinces of Japan is " left out in the cold," and the 
province itself, which yields not only rice, silk, tea, hemp, 
ninjin, and indigo, in large quantities, but gold, copper, coal, 
and petroleum, has to send most of its produce to Yedo across 
ranges of mountains, on the backs of pack-horses, by roads 
scarcely less infamous than the one by which I came. 

The Niigata of the Government, with its signs of progress 
in a western direction, is quite unattractive-looking as com- 
pared with the genuine Japanese Niigata, which is the neatest, 
cleanest, and most comfortable-looking town I have yet seen, 
and altogether free from the jostlement of a foreign settlement. 
It is renowned for the beautiful tea-houses, which attract visitors 
from distant places, and for the excellence of the theatres, and 
is the centre of the recreation and pleasure of a large district. 
It is so beautifully clean that, as at Nikko, I should feel reluct- 
ant to walk upon its well-swept streets in muddy boots. It 
would afford a good lesson to the Edinburgh authorities, for 
every vagrant bit of straw, stick, or paper, is at once pounced 
upon and removed, and no rubbish may stand for an instant 
in its streets except in a covered box or bucket It is correctly 
laid out .in square divisions, formed by five streets over a mile 
long, crossed by very numerous short ones, and is intersected 
by canals, which are its real roadways. I have not seen a 
pack-horse in the streets ; everything comes in by boat, and 
there are few houses in the city which cannot have their goods 
delivered by canal very near to their doors. These water-ways 
are busy all day, but in the early morning, when the boats 
come in loaded with the vegetables, without which the people 
could not exist for a day, the bustle is indescribable. The 
cucumber boats just now are the great sight. The canals are 

of the malady in this neighbourhood as the result of damp, the reflection of the 
tun's rays from sand and snow, inadequate ventilation, and charcoal fumes. 



usually in the middle of the streets, and have fairly broad 
roadways on both sides. They are much below the street 
level, and their nearly perpendicular banks are neatly faced 
with wood, broken at intervals by flights of stairs. They arc 
bordered by trees, among which are many weeping willows : 
and, as the river water runs through them, keeping them quite 


sweet, and they are crossed at short intervals by light bridges, 
they form a very attractive feature of Niigata. 

The houses have very steep roofs of shingle, weighted with 
stones, and, as they are of very irregular heights, and all turn 
the steep gables of the upper stories streetwards, the town has 
a picturesqueness very unusual in Japan. The deep verandahs 
are connected all along the streets, so as to form a sheltered 
promenade when the snow lies deep in winter. With its canals 
with their avenues of trees, its fine public gardens, and clean, 
picturesque streets, it is a really attractive town; but its 
improvements are recent, and were only lately completed by 


Mr. Masakata Kusumoto, now Governor of Tokiyo. There is 
no appearance of poverty in any part of the town, but if there 
be wealth, it is carefully concealed. One marked feature of 
the city is the number of streets of dwelling-houses with pro- 
jecting windows of wooden slats, through which the people can 
see without being seen, though at night, when the andons are 
lit, we saw, as we walked from Dr. Palm's, that in most cases 
families were sitting round the hibachi in a deshabilti of the 
scantiest kind. 

The fronts are very narrow, and the houses extend back- 
wards to an amazing length, with gardens in which flowers, 
shrubs, and mosquitoes are grown, and bridges are several 
times repeated, so as to give the effect of fairyland as you look 
through from the street. The principal apartments in all 
Japanese houses are at the back, looking out on these minia- 
ture landscapes, for a landscape is skilfully dwarfed into a 
space often not more than 30 feet square. A lake, a rock- 
work, a bridge, a stone lantern, and a deformed pine, are in- 
dispensable ; but whenever circumstances and means admit of 
it, quaintnesses of all kinds are introduced. Small pavilions, 
retreats for tea-making, reading, sleeping in quiet and coolness, 
fishing under cover, and drinking sak'e ; bronze pagodas, 
cascades falling from the mouths of bronze dragons ; rock 
caves, with gold and silver fish darting in and out ; lakes 
with rocky islands, streams crossed by green bridges, just high 
enough to allow a rat or frog to pass under ; lawns, and slabs 
of stone for crossing them in wet weather, grottoes, hills, valleys, 
groves of miniature palms, cycas, and bamboo; and dwarfed 
trees of many kinds, of purplish and dull green hues, are cut 
into startling likenesses of beasts and creeping things, or stretch 
distorted arms over tiny lakes. 

I have walked about a great deal in Niigata, and when with 
Mrs. Fyson, who is the only European lady here at present, 
and her little Ruth, a pretty Saxon child of three years old, we 
have been followed by an immense crowd, as the sight of this 
fair creature, with golden curls falling over her shoulders, is 
most fascinating. Both men and women have gentle, winning 
ways with infants, and Ruth, instead of being afraid of the 
crowds, smiles upon them, bows in Japanese fashion, speaks 
to them in Japanese, and seems a little disposed to leave her 


own people altogether. It is most difficult to make her keep 
with us, and two or three times, on missing her and looking 
back, we have seen her seated, native fashion, in a ring in a 
crowd of several hundred people, receiving a homage and 
admiration from which she was most unwillingly torn. The 
Japanese have a perfect passion for children, but it is not good 
for European children to be much with them, as they corrupt 
their morals, and teach them to tell lies. 

The climate of Niigata and of most of this great province 
contrasts unpleasantly with the region on the other side of 
the mountains, warmed by the gulf-stream of the North Pacific, 
in which the autumn and winter, with their still atmosphere, 
bracing temperature, and blue and sunny skies, are the most 
delightful seasons of the year. Thirty-two days of snow-fall 
occur on an average. The canals and rivers freeze, and even 
the rapid Shinano sometimes bears a horse. In January and 
February the snow lies three or four feet deep, a veil of clouds 
obscures the sky, people inhabit their upper rooms to get any 
daylight, pack-horse traffic is suspended, pedestrians go about 
with difficulty in rough snow-shoes, and for nearly six months 
the coast is unsuitable for navigation, owing to the prevalence 
of strong, cold, north-west winds. In this city people in 
wadded clothes, with only their eyes exposed, creep about 
under the verandahs. The population huddles round hibachis 
and shivers, for the mercury, which rises to 92 in summer, 
falls to 15 in winter. And all this is in latitude 37 55' 
three degrees south of Naples ! I. L. B. 



The Canal-side at Niigata Awful Loneliness Courtesy Dr. Palm's Tandem 
A Noisy Matsuri A Jolting Journey The Mountain Villages 
Winter Dismalness An Out-of-the-world Hamlet Crowded Dwellings 
Riding a Cow "Drunk and Disorderly" An Enforced Rest Local 
Discouragements Heavy Loads Absence of Beggary Slow Travelling. 

ICHINONO, July la. 

Two foreign ladies, two fair-haired foreign infants, a long-haired 
foreign dog, and a foreign gentleman, who, without these 
accompaniments, might have escaped notice, attracted a large 
but kindly crowd to the canal side when I left Niigata. The 
natives bore away the children on their shoulders, the Fysons 
walked to the extremity of the canal to bid me good-bye, the 
sampan shot out upon the broad, swirling flood of the Shinano, 
and an awful sense of loneliness fell upon me. We crossed 
the Shinano, poled up the narrow, embanked Shinkawa, had a 
desperate struggle with the flooded Aganokawa, were much 
impeded by strings of nauseous manure-boats on the narrow, 
discoloured Kajikawa, wondered at the interminable melon 
and cucumber fields, and at the odd river life, and, after hard 
poling for six hours, reached Kisaki, having accomplished 
exactly ten miles. Then three kurumas with trotting runners 
took us twenty miles at the low rate of 4^ sen per ri. In one 
place a board closed the road, but, on representing to the 
chief man of the village that the traveller was a foreigner, he 
courteously allowed me to pass, the Express Agent having ac- 
companied me thus far to see that I " got through all right." 
The road was tolerably populous throughout the day's journey, 
and the farming villages which extended much of the way 
Tsuiji, Kasayanage, Mono, and Mari were neat, and many 
of the farms had bamboo fences to screen them from the road. 


It was, on the whole, a pleasant country, and the people, though 
little clothed, did not look either poor or very dirty. The 
soil was very light and sandy. There were, in fact, " pine 
barrens," sandy ridges with nothing on , them but spindly 
Scotch firs and fir scrub ; but the sandy levels between them, 
being heavily manured and cultivated like gardens, bore 
splendid crops of cucumbers trained like peas, melons, vegetable 
marrow, Arum esculentum, sweet potatoes, maize, tea, tiger- 
lilies, beans, and onions ; and extensive orchards with apples 
and pears trained laterally on trellis-work eight feet high, were 
a novelty in the landscape. 

Though we were all day drawing nearer to mountains 
wooded to their summits on the east, the amount of vegetation 
was not burdensome, the rice swamps were few, and the air 
felt drier and less relaxing. As my runners were trotting 
merrily over one of the pine barrens, I met Dr. Palm returning 
from one of his medico-religious expeditions, with a tandem of 
two naked coolies, who were going over the ground at a great 
pace, and I wished that some of the most staid directors of the 
Edinburgh Medical Missionary Society could have the shock 
of seeing him ! 1 shall not see a European again for some 
weeks. From Tsuiji, a very neat village, where we changed 
Aurumas, we were jolted along over a shingly road to Nakajo, 
a considerable town just within treaty limits. The Japanese 
doctors there, as in some other places, are Dr. Palm's cordial 
helpers, and five or six of them, whom he regards as possessing 
the rare virtues of candour, earnestness, and single-mindedness, 
and who have studied English medical works, have clubbed 
together to establish a dispensary, and, under Dr. Palm's 
instructions, are even carrying out the antiseptic treatment 
successfully, after some ludicrous failures ! 

We dashed through Nakajo as kuruma-runners always dash 
through towns and villages, got out of it in a drizzle upon an 
avenue of firs, three or four deep, which extends from Nakajo 
to Kurokawa, and for some miles beyond were jolted over a 
damp valley on which tea and rice alternated, crossed two 
branches of the shingly Kurokawa on precarious bridges, 
rattled into the town of Kurokawa, much decorated with flags 
and lanterns, where the people were all congregated at a shrine 
where there was much drumming, and a few girls, much 


painted and bedizened, were dancing or posturing on a raised 
and covered platform, in honour of the god of the place, whose 
matsuri or festival it was ; and out again, to be mercilessly 
jolted under the firs in the twilight to a solitary house where 
the owner made some difficulty about receiving us, as his 
licence did not begin till the next day, but eventually suc- 
cumbed, and gave me his one upstairs room, exactly five feet 
high, which hardly allowed of my standing upright with my 
hat on. He then rendered it suffocating by closing the amado, 
for the reason often given, that if he left them open and the 
house was robbed, the police would not only blame him 
severely, but would not take any trouble to recover his 
property. He had no rice, so I indulged in a feast of 
delicious cucumbers. I never saw so many eaten as in that 
district. Children gnaw them all day long, and even babies 
on their mothers' backs suck them with avidity. Just now 
they are sold for a sen a dozen. 

It is a mistake to arrive at zyadoya after dark. Even if 
the best rooms are not full it takes fully an hour to get my 
food and the room ready, and meanwhile I cannot employ my 
time usefully because of the mosquitoes. There was heavy 
rain all night, accompanied by the first wind that I have heard 
since landing; and the fitful creaking of the pines and the 
drumming from the shrine made me glad to get up at sunrise, 
or rather at daylight, for there has not been a sunrise since I 
came, or a sunset either. That day we travelled by Sekki to 
Kawaguchi in kurumas, i.e. we were sometimes bumped over 
stones, sometimes deposited on the edge of a quagmire, and 
asked to get out ; and sometimes compelled to walk for two 
or three miles at a time along the infamous bridle-track above 
the river Arai, up which two men could hardly push and haul 
an empty vehicle ; and, as they often had to lift them bodily 
and carry them for some distance, I was really glad when we 
reached the village of Kawaguchi to find that they could go 
no farther, though, as we could only get one horse, I had to 
walk the last stage in a torrent of rain, poorly protected by my 
paper waterproof cloak. 

We are now in the midst of the great central chain of the 
Japanese mountains, which extends almost without a break for 
900 miles, and is from 40 to 100 miles in width, broken up 


into interminable ranges traversable only by steep passes from 
1000 to 5000 feet in height, with innumerable rivers, ravines, 
and valleys, the heights and ravines heavily timbered, the 
rivers impetuous and liable to freshets, and the valleys invari- 
ably terraced for rice. It is in the valleys that the villages are 
found, and regions more isolated I have never seen, shut out 
by bad roads from the rest of Japan. The houses are very 
poor, the summer costume of the men consists of the maro 
only, and that of the women of trousers with an open shirt, 
and when we reached Kurosawa last night it had dwindled to 
trousers only. There is little traffic, and very few horses are 
kept, one, two, or three constituting the live stock of a large 
village. The shops, such as they are, contain the barest 
necessaries of life. Millet and buckwheat rather than rice, 
with the universal daikon, are the staples of diet The climate 
is wet in summer and bitterly cold in winter. Even now it is 
comfortless enough for the people to come in wet, just to 
warm the tips of their fingers at the iron, stifled the while 
with the stinging smoke, while the damp wind flaps the torn 
paper of the windows about, and damp draughts sweep the 
ashes over the tatami until the house is hermetically sealed at 
night. These people never know anything of what we regard 
as comfort, and in the long winter, when the wretched bridle- 
tracks are blocked by snow and the freezing wind blows strong, 
and the families huddle round the smoky fire by the doleful 
glimmer of the andon, without work, books, or play, to shiver 
through the long evenings in chilly dreariness, and herd 
together for warmth at night like animals, their condition must 
be as miserable as anything short of grinding poverty can 
make it 

I saw things at their worst that night as I tramped into 
the hamlet of Numa, down whose sloping street a swollen 
stream was running, which the people were banking out of 
their houses. I was wet and tired, and the woman at the one 
wretched yadoya met me, saying, " I'm sorry it's very dirty and 
quite unfit for so honourable a guest ;" and she was right, for 
the one room was up a ladder, the windows were in tatters, 
there was no charcoal for a hibachi, no eggs, and the rice was 
so dirty and so full of a small black seed as to be unfit to eat 
Worse than all, there was no Transport Office, the hamlet did 


not possess a horse, and it was only by sending to a farmer 
five miles off, and by much bargaining, that I got on the next 
morning. In estimating the number of people in a given 
number of houses in Japan, it is usual to multiply the houses 
by five, but I had the curiosity to walk through Numa and get 
Ito to translate the tallies which hang outside all Japanese 
houses with the names, number, and sexes of their inmates, 
and in twenty-four houses there were 307 people ! In some 
there were four families the grand-parents, the parents, the 
eldest son with his wife and family, and a daughter or two 
with their husbands and children. The eldest son, who 
inherits the house and land, almost invariably brings his wife 
to his father's house, where she often becomes little better than 
a slave to her mother-in-law. By rigid custom she literally 
forsakes her own kindred, and her " filial duty " is transferred 
to her husband's mother, who often takes a dislike to her, and 
instigates her son to divorce her if she has no children. My 
hostess had induced her son to divorce his wife, and she could 
give no better reason for it than that she was lazy. 

The Numa people, she said, had never seen a foreigner, so, 
though the rain still fell heavily, they were astir in the early 
morning. They wanted to hear me speak, so I gave my 
orders to Ito in public. Yesterday was a most toilsome day, 
mainly spent in stumbling up and sliding down the great 
passes of Futai, Takanasu, and Yenoiki, all among forest- 
covered mountains, deeply cleft by forest-choked ravines, with 
now and then one of the snowy peaks of Aidzu breaking the 
monotony of the ocean of green. The horses' shoes were tied 
and untied every few minutes, and we made just a mile an 
hour ! At last we were deposited in a most unpromising place 
in the hamlet of Tamagawa, and were told that a rice 
merchant, after waiting for three days, had got every horse in 
the country. At the end of two hours' chaffering one baggage 
coolie was produced, some of the things were put on the rice 
horses, and a steed with a pack-saddle was produced for me 
in the shape of a plump and pretty little cow, which carried 
me safely over the magnificent pass of Ori and down to the 
town of Okimi, among rice-fields, where, in a drowning rain, I 
was glad to get shelter with a number of coolies by a wood-fire 
till another pack-cow was produced, and we walked on through 


the rice-fields and up into the hills again to Kurosawa, where 
I had intended to remain ; but there was no inn, and the 
farm-house where they take in travellers, besides being on the 
edge of a malarious pond, and being dark and full of stinging 
smoke, was so awfully dirty and full of living creatures, that, 
exhausted as I was, I was obliged to go on. But it was 
growing dark, there was no Transport Office, and for the first 
time the people were very slightly extortionate, and drove Ito 
nearly to his wits' end. The peasants do not like to be out 
after dark, for they are afraid of ghosts and all sorts of devil- 
ments, and it was difficult to induce them to start so late in 
the evening. 

There was not a house clean enough to rest in, so I sat 
on a stone and thought about the people for over an hour. 
Children with scald-head, scabies, and sore eyes swarmed. 
Every woman carried a baby on her back, and every child 
who could stagger under one carried one too. Not one 
woman wore anything but cotton trousers. One woman 
reeled about "drunk and disorderly." Ito sat on a stone 
hiding his face in his hands, and when I asked him if he 
were ill, he replied in a most lamentable voice, " I don't 
know what I am to do, I'm so ashamed for you to see such 
things!" The boy is only eighteen, and I pitied him. I 
asked him if women were often drunk, and he said they were 
in Yokohama, but they usually kept in their houses. He 
says that when their husbands give them money to pay bills 
at the end of a month, they often spend it in sake, and that 
they sometimes get sake in shops and have it put down as 
rice or tea. " The old, old story !" I looked at the dirt and 
barbarism, and asked if this were the Japan of which I had 
read. Yet a woman in this unseemly costume firmly refused 
to take the 2 or 3 sen which it is usual to leave at a place 
where you rest, because she said that I had had water and not 
tea, and after I had forced it on her, she returned it to Ito, 
and this redeeming incident sent me away much comforted. 

From Numa the distance here is only i| n, but it is over 
the steep pass of Honoki, which is ascended and descended 
by hundreds of rude stone steps, not pleasant in the dark. 
On this pass I saw birches for the first time ; at its foot we 
entered Yamagata ken by a good bridge, and shortly reached 


this village, in which an unpromising-looking farm-house is 
the only accommodation ; but though all the rooms but two 
are taken up with silk-worms, those two are very good and 
look upon a miniature lake and rockery. The one objection 
to my room is that to get either in or out of it I must pass 
through the other, which is occupied by five tobacco merchants 
who are waiting for transport, and who while away the time 
by strumming on that instrument of dismay, the samisen. No 
horses or cows can be got for me, so I am spending the day 
quietly here, rather glad to rest, for I am much exhausted. 
When I am suffering much from my spine Ito always gets 
into a fright and thinks I am going to die, as he tells me 
when I am better, but shows his anxiety by a short, surly 
manner, which is most disagreeable. He thinks we shall 
never get through the interior ! Mr. Brunton's excellent map 
fails in this region, so it is only by fixing on the well-known 
city of Yamagata and devising routes to it that we get on. 
Half the evening is spent in consulting Japanese maps, if we 
can get them, and in questioning the house -master and 
Transport Agent, and any chance travellers ; but the people 
know nothing beyond the distance of a few rt, and the agents 
seldom tell one anything beyond the next stage. When I 
inquire about the " unbeaten tracks " that I wish to take, the 
answers are, " It's an awful road through mountains," or 
"There are many bad rivers to cross," or "There are none 
but farmers' houses to stop at." No encouragement is ever 
given, but we get on, and shall get on, I doubt not, though 
the hardships are not what I would desire in my present state 
of health. 

Very few horses are kept here Cows and coolies carry 
much of the merchandise, and women as well as men carry 
heavy loads. A baggage coolie carries about 50 Ibs., but 
here merchants carrying their own goods from Yamagata 
actually carry from 90 to 140 Ibs., and even more. It is 
sickening to meet these poor fellows struggling over the 
mountain-passes in evident distress. Last night five of them 
were resting on the summit ridge of a pass gasping violently. 
Their eyes were starting out ; all their muscles, rendered 
painfully visible by their leanness, were quivering; rills of 
blood from the bite of insects, which they cannot drive away, 


were literally running all over their naked bodies, washed 
away here and there by copious perspiration. Truly " in the 
sweat of their brows " they were eating bread and earning an 
honest living for their families ! Suffering and hard-worked 
as they were, they were quite independent. I have not seen 
a beggar or beggary in this strange country. The women 
were carrying 70 Ibs. These burden-bearers have their backs 
covered by a thick pad of plaited straw. On this rests a 
ladder, curved up at the lower end like the runners of a 
sleigh. On this the load is carefully packed till it extends 
from below the man's waist to a considerable height above his 
head. It is covered with waterproof paper, securely roped, 
and thatched with straw, and is supported by a broad padded 
band just below the collar bones. Of course, as the man 
walks nearly bent double, and the position is a very painful 
one, he requires to stop and straighten himself frequently, and 
unless he meets with a bank of convenient height, he rests 
the bottom of his burden on a short, stout pole with an 
L- shaped top, carried for this purpose. The carrying of 
enormous loads is quite a feature of this region, and so, I am 
sorry to say, are red stinging ants and the small gadflies 
which molest the coolies. 

Yesterday's journey was 18 miles in twelve hours ! Ichi- 
nono is a nice, industrious hamlet, given up, like all others, to 
rearing silk-worms, and the pure white and sulphur yellow 
cocoons are drying on mats in the sun everywhere. 

I. L B, 



Comely Kine Japanese Criticism on a Foreign Usage A Pleasant Halt 
Renewed Courtesies The Plain of Yonezawa A Curious Mistake The 
Mother's Memorial Arrival at Komatsu Stately Accommodation A 
Vicious Horse An Asiatic Arcadia A Fashionable Watering-place A 
Belle " Godowns." 


A SEVERE day of mountain travelling brought us into another 
region. We left Ichinono early on a fine morning, with three 
pack-cows, one of which I rode [and their calves], very comely 
kine, with small noses, short horns, straight spines, and deep 
bodies. I thought that I might get some fresh milk, but the 
idea of anything but a calf milking a cow was so new to the 
people that there was a univers'al laugh, and Ito told me that 
they thought it "most disgusting," and that the Japanese 
think it " most disgusting " in foreigners to put anything " with 
such a strong smell and taste " into their tea ! All the cows 
had cotton cloths, printed with blue dragons, suspended under 
their bodies to keep them from mud and insects, and they 
wear straw shoes and cords through the cartilages of their 
noses. The day being fine, a great deal of rice and sake was 
on the move, and we met hundreds of pack-cows, all of the 
same comely breed, in strings of four. 

We crossed the Sakuratoge", from which the view is 
beautiful, got horses at the mountain village of Shirakasawa, 
crossed more passes, and in the afternoon reached the village 
of Tenoko. There, as usual, I sat under the verandah of the 
Transport Office, and waited for the one horse which was 
available. It was a large shop, but contained not a single 
article of European make. In the one room a group of 
women and children sat round the fire, and the agent sat as 


usual with a number of ledgers at a table a foot high, on 
which his grandchild was lying on a cushion. Here Ito dined 
on seven dishes of horrors, and they brought me sake, tea, 
rice, and black beans. The last are very good. We had 
some talk about the country, and the man asked me to write 
his name in English characters, and to write my own in a 
book. Meanwhile a crowd assembled, and the front row 
sat on the ground that the others might see over their heads.* 
They were dirty and pressed very close, and when the women 
of the house saw that I felt the heat they gracefully produced 
fans and fanned me for a whole hour. On asking the charge 
they refused to make any, and would not receive anything. 
They had not seen a foreigner before, they said, they would 
despise themselves for taking anything, they had my " honour- 
able name " in their book. Not only that, but they put up a 
parcel of sweetmeats, and the man wrote his name on a fan 
and insisted on my accepting it. I was grieved to have 
nothing to give them but some English pins, but they had 
never seen such before, and soon circulated them among the 
crowd. I told them truly that I should remember them as 
long as I remember Japan, and went on, much touched by 
their kindness. 

The lofty pass of Utsu, which is ascended and descended 
by a number of stone slabs, is the last of the passes of these 
choked-up ranges. From its summit in the welcome sunlight 
I joyfully looked down upon the noble plain of Yonezawa, 
about 30 miles long and from 10 to 18 broad, one of the 
gardens of Japan, wooded and watered, covered with prosperous 
towns and villages, surrounded by magnificent mountains not 
altogether timbered, and bounded at its southern extremity by 
ranges white with snow even in the middle of July. 

In the long street of the farming village of Matsuhara a 
man amazed me by running in front of me and speaking to 
me, and on Ito coming up, he assailed him vociferously, and 
it turned out that he took me for an Aino, one of the sub- 
jugated aborigines of Yezo. I have before now been taken 
for a Chinese ! 

Throughout the province of Echigo I have occasionally 
seen a piece of cotton cloth suspended by its four corners 
from four bamboo poles just above a quiet stream. Behind 



it there is usually a long narrow tablet, notched at the top, 
similar to those seen in cemeteries, with characters upon it. 
Sometimes bouquets of flowers are placed in the hollow top 
of each bamboo, and usually there are characters on the 
cloth itself. Within it always lies a wooden dipper. In 


coming down from Tenoko I passed one of these close to 
the road, and a Buddhist priest was at the time pouring a 
dipper full of water into it, which strained slowly through. 
As he was going our way we joined him, and he explained 
its meaning. 

According to him the tablet bears on it the katmiyo, or 
posthumous name of a woman. The flowers have the same 
significance as those which loving hands place on the graves 


of kindred. If there are characters on the cloth, they repre- 
sent the well-known invocation of the Nichiren sect, Namu 
mid hd ren ge kid. The pouring of the water into the cloth, 
often accompanied by telling the beads on a rosary, is a prayer. 
The whole is called "The Flowing Invocation." I have 
seldom seen anything more plaintively affecting, for it denotes 
that a mother in the first joy of maternity has passed away to 
suffer (according to popular belief) in the Lake of Blood, one 
of the Buddhist hells, for a sin committed in a former state 
of being, and it appeals to every passer-by to shorten the 
penalties of a woman in anguish, for in that lake she must 
remain until the cloth is so utterly worn out that the water 
falls through it at once. 

Where the mountains come down upon the plain of 
Yonezawa there are several raised banks, and you can take 
one step from the hillside to a dead level. The soil is dry 
and gravelly at the junction, ridges of pines appeared, and 
the look of the houses suggested increased cleanliness and 
comfort. A walk of six miles took us from Tenoko to 
Komatsu, a beautifully situated town of 3000 people, with a 
large trade in cotton goods, silk, and sake. 

As I entered Komatsu the first man whom I met turned 
back hastily, called into the first house the words which mean 
"Quick, here's a foreigner;" the three carpenters who were 
at work there flung down their tools and, without waiting to 
put on their kimonos, sped down the street calling out the 
news, so that by the time I reached the yadoya a large crowd 
was pressing upon me. The front was mean and unpromising- 
looking, but, on reaching the back by a stone bridge over a 
stream which ran through the house, I found a room 40 feet 
long by 15 high, entirely open along one side to a garden 
with a large fish-pond with goldfish, a pagoda, dwarf trees, and 
all the usual miniature adornments. Fusuma of wrinkled blue 
paper splashed with gold turned this "gallery" into two 
rooms ; but there was no privacy, for the crowds climbed upon 
the roofs at the back, and sat there patiently until night. 

These were daimiy&s rooms. The posts and ceilings 
were ebony and gold, the mats very fine, the polished alcoves 
decorated with inlaid writing-tables and sword-racks ; spears 
nine feet long, with handles of lacquer inlaid with Venus' ear, 


hung in the verandah, the washing bowl was fine inlaid black 
lacquer, and the rice-bowls and their covers were gold lacquer. 

In this, as in many other yadoyas, there were kakemonos 
with large Chinese characters representing the names of the 
Prime Minister, Provincial Governor, or distinguished General, 
who had honoured it by halting there, and lines of poetry 
were hung up, as is usual, in the same fashion. I have several 
times been asked to write something to be thus displayed. I 
spent Sunday at Komatsu, but not restfully, owing to the noct- 
urnal croaking of the frogs in the pond. In it, as in most 
towns, there were shops which sell nothing but white, frothy- 
looking cakes, which are used for the goldfish which are so 
much prized, and three times daily the women and children of 
the household came into the garden to feed them. 

When I left Komatsu there were fully sixty people inside 
the house and 1500 outside walls, verandahs, and even roofs 
being packed. From Nikko to Komatsu mares had been 
exclusively used, but there I encountered for the first time 
the terrible Japanese pack-horse. Two horridly fierce-looking 
creatures were at the door, with their heads tied down till 
their necks were completely arched. When I mounted the 
crowd followed, gathering as it went, frightening the horse 
with the clatter of clogs and the sound of a multitude, till he 
broke his head-rope, and, the frightened mago letting him go, 
he proceeded down the street mainly on his hind feet, 
squealing, and striking savagely with his fore feet, the crowd 
scattering to the right and left, till, as it surged past the police 
station, four policemen .came out and arrested it ; only to 
gather again, however, for there was a longer street, down 
which my horse proceeded in the same fashion, and, looking 
round, I saw Ito's horse on his hind legs and Ito on the 
ground. My beast jumped over all ditches, attacked all foot- 
passengers with his teeth, and behaved so like a wild animal 
that not all my previous acquaintance with the idiosyncrasies 
of horses enabled me to cope with him. On reaching Akayu 
we found a horse fair, and, as all the horses had their heads 
tightly tied down to posts, they could only squeal and lash out 
with their hind feet, which so provoked our animals that the 
baggage horse, by a series of jerks and rearings, divested 
himself of Ito and most of the baggage, and, as I dismounted 


from mine, he stood upright, and my foot catching I fell 
on the ground, when he made several vicious dashes at me 
with his teeth and fore feet, which were happily frustrated by 
the dexterity of some mago. These beasts forcibly remind 
me of the words, " Whose mouth must be held with bit and 
bridle, lest they turn and fall upon thee." 

It was a lovely summer day, though very hot, and the 
snowy peaks of Aidzu scarcely looked cool as they glittered in 
the sunlight. The plain of Yonezawa, with the prosperous 
town of Yonezawa in the south, and the frequented watering- 
place of Akayu in the north, is a perfect garden of Eden, 
"tilled with a pencil instead of a plough," growing in rich 
profusion rice, cotton, maize, tobacco, hemp, indigo, beans, 
egg-plants, walnuts, melons, cucumbers, persimmons, apricots, 
pomegranates ; a smiling and plenteous land, an Asiatic 
Arcadia, prosperous and independent, all its bounteous acres 
belonging to those who cultivate them, who live under their 
vines, figs, and pomegranates, free from oppression a re- 
markable spectacle under an Asiatic despotism. Yet still 
Daikoku is the chief deity, and material good is the one 
object of desire. 

It is an enchanting region of beauty, industry, and 
comfort, mountain girdled, and watered by the bright Matsuka. 
Everywhere there are prosperous and beautiful farming vil- 
lages, with large houses with carved beams and ponderous 
tiled roofs, each standing in its own grounds, buried among 
persimmons and pomegranates, with flower-gardens under 
trellised vines, and privacy secured by high, closely-clipped 
screens of pomegranate and cryptomeria. Besides the villages 
of Yoshida, Semoshima, Kurokawa, Takayama, and Takataki, 
through or near which we passed, I counted over fifty on the 
plain with their brown, sweeping barn roofs looking out from 
the woodland. I cannot see any differences in the style of 
cultivation. Yoshida is rich and prosperous-looking, Numa 
poor and wretched-looking; but the scanty acres of Numa, 
rescued from the mountain-sides, are as exquisitely trim and 
neat, as perfectly cultivated, and yield as abundantly of the 
crops which suit the climate, as the broad acres of the sunny 
plain of Yonezawa, and this is the case everywhere. M The 
field of the sluggard " has no existence in Japan. 


We rode for four hours through these beautiful villages on a 
road four feet wide, and then, to my surprise, after ferrying a 
river, emerged at Tsukuno upon what appears on the map as 
a secondary road, but which is in reality a main road 25 
feet wide, well kept, trenched on both sides, and with a line 
of telegraph poles along it. It was a new world at once. The 
road for many miles was thronged with well-dressed foot- 
passengers, kurumas, pack-horses, and waggons either with 
solid wheels, or wheels with spokes but no tires. It is a 
capital carriage-road, but without carriages. In such civilised 
circumstances it was curious to see two or four brown skinned 
men pulling the carts, and quite often a man and his wife 
the man unclothed, and the woman unclothed to her waist 
doing the same. Also it struck me as incongruous to see 
telegraph wires above, and below, men whose only clothing 
consisted of a sun-hat and fan ; while children with books and 
slates were returning from school, conning their lessons. 

At Akayu, a town of hot sulphur springs, I hoped to sleep, 
but it was one of the noisiest places I have seen. In the 
most crowded part, where four streets meet, there are bathing 
sheds, which were full of people of both sexes, splashing 
loudly, and the yadoya close to it had about forty rooms, in 
nearly all of which several rheumatic people were lying on the 
mats, samisens were twanging, and kotos screeching, and the 
hubbub was so unbearable that I came on here, ten miles 
farther, by a fine new road, up an uninteresting strath of rice- 
fields and low hills, which opens out upon a small plain 
surrounded by elevated gravelly hills, on the slope of one of 
which Kaminoyama, a watering-place of over 3000 people, is 
pleasantly situated. It is keeping festival ; there are lanterns 
and flags on every house, and crowds are thronging the temple 
grounds, of which there are several on the hills above. It is 
a clean, dry place, with beautiful yadoyas on the heights, and 
pleasant houses with gardens, and plenty of walks over the 
hills. The people say that it is one of the driest places in 
Japan. If it were within reach of foreigners, they would find 
it a wholesome health resort, with picturesque excursions in 
many directions. 

This is one of the great routes of Japanese travel, and it is 
interesting to see watering-places with their habits, amusements, 




and civilisation quite complete, but borrowing nothing from 
Europe. The hot springs here contain iron, and are strongly 
impregnated with sulphuretted hydrogen. I tried the tem- 
perature of three, and found them 100, 105, and 107". 


They are supposed to be very valuable in rheumatism, and 
they attract visitors from great distances. The police, who 
are my frequent informants, tell me that there are nearly 600 
people now staying here for the benefit of the baths, of which 
six daily are usually taken. I think that in rheumatism, as in 
some other maladies, the old-fashioned Japanese doctors pay 


little attention to diet and habits, and much to drugs and 
external applications. The benefit of these and other 
medicinal waters would be much increased if vigorous fric- 
tion replaced the dabbing with soft towels. 

This is a large yadoya, very full of strangers, and the 
house-mistress, a buxom and most prepossessing widow, has a 
truly exquisite hotel for bathers higher up the hill. She has 
eleven children, two or three of whom are tall, handsome, and 
graceful girls. One blushed deeply at my evident admiration, 
but was not displeased, and took me up the hill to see the 
temples, baths, and yadoyas of this very attractive place. I am 
much delighted with her grace and savoirfaire. I asked the 
widow how long she had kept the inn, and she proudly 
answered, " Three hundred years," not an uncommon instance 
of the heredity of occupations. 

My accommodation is unique a kura, or godown, in a large 
conventional garden, in which is a bath-house, which receives 
a hot spring at a temperature of 105, in which I luxuriate. 
Last night the mosquitoes were awful. If the widow and her 
handsome girls had not fanned me perseveringly for an hour, 
I should not have been able to write a line. My new 
mosquito net succeeds admirably, and, when I am once within 
it, I rather enjoy the disappointment of the hundreds of 
drumming blood-thirsty wretches outside. 

The widow tells me that house-masters pay 2 yen once for 
all for the sign, and an annual tax of 2 yen on a first-class 
yadoya, i yen for a second, and 50 cents for a third, with 5 
yen for the license to sell sake. 

These " godoivns " (from the Malay word gadong), or fire- 
proof store-houses, are one of the most marked features of 
Japanese towns, both because they are white where all else is 
grey, and because they are solid where all else is perishable. 

I am lodged in the lower part, but the iron doors are 
open, and in their place at night is a paper screen. A few 
things are kept in my room. Two handsome shrines from 
which the unemotional faces of two Buddhas looked out all 
night, a fine figure of the goddess Kwan-non, and a venerable 
one of the god of longevity, suggested curious dreams. 

I. L, B. 



Prosperity Convict Labour A New Bridge Yamagata Intoxicating 
Forgeries The Government Buildings Bad Manners Snow Mountains 
A Wretched Town. 

KANAYAMA, July 16. 

THREE days of travelling on the same excellent road have 
brought me nearly 60 miles. Yamagata ken impresses me as 
being singularly prosperous, progressive, and go-ahead ; the 
plain of Yamagata, which I entered soon after leaving Kamino- 
yama, is populous and highly cultivated, and the broad road, 
with its enormous traffic, looks wealthy and civilised. It is 
being improved by convicts in dull red kimonos printed with 
Chinese characters, who correspond with our ticket-of-leave 
men, as they are working for wages in the employment of 
contractors and farmers, and are under no other restriction 
than that of always wearing the prison dress. 

At the Sakamoki river I was delighted to come upon the 
only thoroughly solid piece of modern Japanese work that I 
have met with a remarkably handsome stone bridge nearly 
finished the first I have seen. I introduced myself to the 
engineer, Okuno Chiuzo,a very gentlemanly, agreeable Japanese, 
who showed me the plans, took a great deal of trouble to 
explain them, and courteously gave me tea and sweetmeats. 

Yamagata, a thriving town of 2 1,000 people and the capital 
of the ken, is well situated on a slight eminence, and this and 
the dominant position of the kenchd at the top of the main 
street give it an emphasis unusual in Japanese towns. The 
outskirts of all the cities are very mean, and the appearance of 
the lofty white buildings of the new Government Offices above 
the low grey houses was much of a surprise. The streets of 
Yamagata are broad and clean, and it has good shops, among 
which are long rows selling nothing but ornamental iron kettles 

F 2 


and ornamental brasswork. So far in the interior I was 
annoyed to find several shops almost exclusively for the sale of 
villainous forgeries of European eatables and drinkables, specially 
the latter. The Japanese, from the Mikado downwards, have 
acquired a love of foreign intoxicants, which would be hurtful 
enough to them if the intoxicants were genuine, but is far worse 
when they are compounds of vitriol, fusel oil, bad vinegar, and 
I know not what. I saw two shops in Yamagata which sold 
champagne of the best brands, Martel's cognac, Bass' ale, 
Medoc, St. Julian, and Scotch whisky, at about one- fifth of 
their cost price all poisonous compounds, the sale of which 
ought to be interdicted. 

The Government Buildings, though in the usual confection- 
ery style, are improved by the addition of verandahs ; and the 
Kenchd, Saibanchd, or Court House, the Normal School with 
advanced schools attached, and the police buildings, are all in 
keeping with the good road and obvious prosperity. A large 
two-storied hospital, with a cupola, which will accommodate 
1 50, patients, and is to be a medical school, is nearly finished. 
It is very well arranged and ventilated. I cannot say as 
much for the present hospital, which I went over. At the 
Court House I saw twenty officials doing nothing, and as 
many policemen, all in European dress, to which they had 
added an imitation of European manners, the total result 
being unmitigated vulgarity. They demanded my passport 
before they would tell me the population of the ken and city. 
Once or twice I have found fault with Ito's manners, and he 
has asked me twice since if I think them like the manners of 
the policemen at Yamagata ! 

North of Yamagata the plain widens, and fine longitudinal 
ranges capped with snow mountains on the one side, and 
broken ranges with lateral spurs on the other, enclose as 
cheerful and pleasant a region as one would wish to see, with 
many pleasant villages on the lower slopes of the hills. The 
mercury was only 70, and the wind north, so it was an 
especially pleasant journey, though I had to go three and a 
half ri beyond Tendo, a town of 5000 people, where I had 
intended to halt, because the only inns at Tendo which were 
not kashitsukeya were so occupied with silk-worms that they 
could not receive me. 


The next day's journey was still along the same fine road, 
through a succession of farming villages and towns of 1500 
and 2000 people, such as Tochiida and Obanasawa, were 
frequent From both these there was a glorious view of 
Chokaizan, a grand, snow-covered dome, said to be 8000 feet 
high, which rises in an altogether unexpected manner from 
comparatively level country, and, as the great snow-fields of 
Udonosan are in sight at the same time, with most picturesque 
curtain ranges below, it may be considered one of the grandest 
views of Japan. After leaving Obanasawa the road passes 
along a valley watered by one of the affluents of the Mogami, 
and, after crossing it by a fine wooden bridge, ascends a pass 
from which the view is most magnificent. After a long ascent 
through a region of light, peaty soil, wooded with pine, 
cryptomeria, and scrub oak, a long descent and a fine avenue 
terminate in Shinjo, a wretched town of over 5000 people, 
situated in a plain of rice-fields. 

The day's journey, of over twenty-three miles, was through 
villages of farms without yadoyas, and in many cases without 
even tea-houses. The style of building has quite changed. 
Wood has disappeared, and all the houses are now built with 
heavy beams and walls of laths and brown mud mixed with 
chopped straw, and very neat Nearly all are great oblong 
barns, turned endwise to the road, 50, 60, and even 100 feet 
long, with the end nearest the road the dwelling-house. These 
farm-houses have no paper windows, only amado, with a few 
panes of paper at the top. These are drawn back in the 
daytime, and, in the better class of houses, blinds, formed of 
reeds or split bamboo, are let down over the opening. There 
are no ceilings, and in many cases an unmolested rat snake 
lives in the rafters, who, when he is much gorged, occasionally 
falls down upon a mosquito net 

Again I write that Shinjo is a wretched place It is a 
daimiy&s town, and every daimiy&s town that I have seen has 
an air of decay, partly owing to the fact that the castle is 
either pulled down, or has been allowed to fall into decay. 
Shinjo has a large trade in rice, silk, and hemp, and ought 
not to be as poor as it looks. The mosquitoes were in 
thousands, and I had to go to bed, so as to be out of their 
reach, before I had finished my wretched meal of sago and 


condensed milk. There was a hot rain all night, my wretched 
room was dirty and stifling, and rats gnawed my boots and 
ran away with my cucumbers. 

To-day the temperature is high and the sky murky. The 
good road has come to an end, and the old hardships have 
begun again. After leaving Shinjo this morning we crossed 
over a steep ridge into a singular basin of great beauty, with a 
semicircle of pyramidal hills, rendered more striking by being 
covered to their summits with pyramidal cryptomeria, and 
apparently blocking all northward progress. At their feet lies 
Kanayama in a romantic situation, and, though I arrived as 
early as noon, I am staying for a day or two, for my room at 
the Transport Office is cheerful and pleasant, the agent is 
most polite, a very rough region lies before me, and Ito has 
secured a chicken for the first time since leaving Nikko ! 

I find it impossible in this damp climate, and in my 
present poor health, to travel with any comfort for more than 
two or three days at a time, and it is difficult to find pretty, 
quiet, and wholeso'me places for a halt of two nights. Freedom 
from fleas and mosquitoes one can never hope for, though the 
last vary in number, and I have found a way of " dodging " 
the first by laying down a piece of oiled paper six feet square 
upon the mat, dusting along its edges a band of Persian insect 
powder, and setting my chair in the middle. I am then 
insulated, and, though myriads of fleas jump on the paper, the 
powder stupefies them, and they are easily killed. I have 
been obliged to rest here at any rate, because I have been 
stung on my left hand both by a hornet and a gadfly, and it is 
badly inflamed. In some places the hornets are in hundreds, 
and make the horses wild. I am also suffering from inflam- 
mation produced by the bites of "horse ants," which attack one 
in walking. The Japanese suffer very much from these, and 
a neglected bite often produces an intractable ulcer. Besides 
these, there is a fly, as harmless in appearance as our house-fly, 
which bites as badly as a mosquito. These are some of the 
drawbacks of Japanese travelling in summer, but worse than 
these is the lack of such food as one can eat when one 
finishes a hard day's journey without appetite, in an exhausting 

July 1 8. I have had so much pain and fever from stings 


and bites that last night I was glad to consult a Japanese 
doctor from Shinjo. Ito, who looks twice as big as usual 
when he has to do any " grand " interpreting, and always puts 
on silk hakama in honour of it, came in with a middle-aged 
man dressed entirely in silk, who prostrated himself three 
times on the ground, and then sat down on his heels. Ito in 
many words explained my calamities, and Dr. Nosoki then 
asked to see my " honourable hand," which he examined care- 
fully, and then my " honourable foot." He felt my pulse and 
looked at my eyes with a magnifying glass, and with much 
sucking in of his breath a sign of good breeding and polite- 
ness informed me that I had much fever, which I knew 
before; then that I must rest, which I also knew; then he 
lighted his pipe and contemplated me. Then he felt my 
pulse and looked at my eyes again, then felt the swelling from 
the hornet bite, and said it was much inflamed, of which I was 
painfully aware, and then clapped his hands three times. At 
this signal a coolie appeared, carrying a handsome black lacquer 
chest with the same crest in gold upon it as Dr. Nosoki wore 
in white on his haori. This contained a medicine chest of 
fine gold lacquer, fitted up with shelves, drawers, bottles, etc. 
He compounded a lotion first, with which he bandaged my 
hand and arm rather skilfully, telling me to pour the lotion 
over the bandage at intervals till the pain abated. The whole 
was covered with oiled paper, which answers the purpose of 
oiled silk. He then compounded a febrifuge, which, as it is 
purely vegetable, I have not hesitated to take, and told me 
to drink it in hot water, and to avoid sake for a day or two ! 

I asked him what his fee was, and, after many bows and 
much spluttering and sucking in of his breath, he asked if I 
should think half a yen too much, and when I presented him 
with a yen, and told him with a good deal of profound bowing 
on my part that I was exceedingly glad to obtain his services, 
his gratitude quite abashed me by its immensity. 

Dr. Nosoki is one of the old-fashioned practitioners, whose 
medical knowledge has been handed down from father to son, 
and who holds out, as probably most of his patients do, against 
European methods and drugs. A strong prejudice against 
surgical operations, specially amputations, exists throughout 
Japan. With regard to the latter, people think that, as they 


came into the world complete, so they are bound to go out of 
it, and in many places a surgeon would hardly be able to buy 
at any price the privilege of cutting off an arm. 

Except from books these older men know nothing of the 
mechanism of the human body, as dissection is unknown to 
native science. Dr. Nosoki told me that he relies mainly on 
the application of the moxa and on acupuncture in the treat- 
ment of acute diseases, and in chronic maladies on friction, 
medicinal baths, certain animal and vegetable medicines, and 
certain kinds of food. The use of leeches and blisters is 
unknown to him, and he regards mineral drugs with obvious 
suspicion. He has heard of chloroform, but has never seen it 
used, and considers that in maternity it must necessarily be 
fatal either to mother or child. He asked me (and I have 
twice before been asked the same question) whether it is not 
by its use that we endeavour to keep down our redundant 
population ! He has great faith in ginseng, and in rhinoceros 
horn, and in the powdered liver of some animal, which, from 
the description, I understood to be a tiger all specifics of 
the Chinese school of medicines. Dr. Nosoki showed me a 
small box of " unicorn's " horn, which he said was worth more 
than its weight in gold ! As my arm improved coincidently 
with the application of his lotion, I am bound to give him the 
credit of the cure. 

I invited him to dinner, and two tables were produced 
covered with different dishes, of which he ate heartily, showing 
most singular dexterity with his chopsticks in removing the 
flesh of small, bony fish. It is proper to show appreciation of 
a repast by noisy gulpings, and much gurgling and drawing in 
of the breath. Etiquette rigidly prescribes these performances, 
which are most distressing to a European, and my guest 
nearly upset my gravity by them. 

The host and the kocho, or chief man of the village, paid 
me a formal visit in the evening, and Ito, en grande tenue, 
exerted himself immensely on the occasion. They were much 
surprised at my not smoking, and supposed me to be under a 
vow ! They asked me many questions about our customs and 
Government, but frequently reverted to tobacco. 

I. L. B. 



The Effect of a Chicken Poor Fare Slow Travelling Objects of Interest 
Kak'kt The Fatal Close A Great Fire Security of the Kuras. 

SHINGOJI, July 21. 

VERY early in the morning, after my long talk with the Kdcho 
of Kanayama, Ito wakened me by saying, "You'll be able for 
a long day's journey to-day, as you had a chicken yesterday," 
and under this chicken's marvellous influence we got away at 
6.45, only to verify the proverb, "The more haste the worse 
speed." Unsolicited by me the Kdcho sent round the village 
to forbid the people from assembling, so I got away in peace 
with a pack-horse and one runner. It was a terrible road, 
with two severe mountain-passes to cross, and I not only had 
to walk nearly the whole way, but to help the man with the 
kuruma up some of the steepest places. Halting at the ex- 
quisitely situated village of Nosoki, we got one horse, and 
walked by a mountain road along the head-waters of the 
Omono to Innai. I wish I could convey to you any idea of 
the beauty and wildness of that mountain route, of the sur- 
prises on the way, of views, of the violent deluges of rain 
which turned rivulets into torrents, and of the hardships and 
difficulties of the day; the scanty fare of sun-dried rice dough 
and sour yellow rasps, and the depth of the mire through 
which we waded ! We crossed the Shione and Sakatsu 
passes, and in twelve hours accomplished fifteen miles ! 
Everywhere we were told that we should never get through 
the country by the way we are going. 

The women still wear trousers, but with a long garment 
tucked into them instead of a short one, and the men wear a 
cotton combination of breastplate and apron, either without 
anything else, or over their kimonos. The descent to Innai 


under an avenue of cryptomeria, and the village itself, shut in 
with the rushing Omono, are very beautiful. 

The yadoya at Innai was a remarkably cheerful one, but 
my room was entirely fusuma and shdji, .and people were 
peeping in the whole time. It is not only a foreigner and his 
strange ways which attract attention in these remote districts, 
but, in my case, my india-rubber bath, air-pillow, and, above 
all, my white mosquito net. Their nets are all of a heavy 
green canvas, and they admire mine so much, that I can give 
no more acceptable present on leaving than a piece of it to 
twist in with the hair. There were six engineers in the next 
room who are surveying the passes which I had crossed, in 
order to see if they could be tunnelled, in which case kurumas 
might go all the way from Tokiyo to Kubota on the Sea of 
Japan, and, with a small additional outlay, carts also, 

In the two villages of Upper and Lower Innai there has 
been an outbreak of a malady much dreaded by the Japanese, 
called kak'ke, which, in fhe last seven months, has carried off 
100 persons out of a population of about 1500, and the local 
doctors have been aided by two sent from the Medical School 
at Kubota. I don't know a European name for it; the 
Japanese name signifies an affection of the legs. Its first 
symptoms are a loss of strength in the legs, " looseness in the 
knees," cramps in the calves, swelling, and numbness. This, 
Dr. Anderson, who has studied kaKkb in more than noo 
cases in Tokiyo, calls the sub-acute form. The chronic is a 
slow, numbing, and wasting malady, which, if unchecked, 
results in death from paralysis and exhaustion in from six 
months to three years. The third, or acute form, Dr. 
Anderson describes thus. After remarking that the grave 
symptoms set in quite unexpectedly, and go on rapidly 
increasing, he says: "The patient now can lie down no 
longer; he sits up in bed and tosses restlessly from one 
position to another, and, with wrinkled brow, staring and 
anxious eyes, dusky skin, blue, parted lips, dilated nostrils, 
throbbing neck, and labouring chest, presents a picture of the 
most terrible distress that the worst of diseases can inflict. 
There is no intermission even for a moment, and the 
physician, here almost powerless, can do little more than note 
the failing pulse and falling temperature, and wait for the 


moment when the brain, paralysed by the carbonised blood, 
shall become insensible, and allow the dying man to pass his 
last moments in merciful unconsciousness." 1 

The next morning, after riding nine miles through a quag- 
mire, under grand avenues of cryptomeria, and noticing with 
regret that the telegraph poles ceased, we reached Yusowa, a 
town of 7000 people, in which, had it not been for provoking 
delays, I should have slept instead of at Innai, and found 
that a fire a few hours previously had destroyed seventy 
houses, including the yadoya at which I should have lodged. 
We had to wait two hours for horses, as all were engaged in 
moving property and people. The ground where the houses 
had stood was absolutely bare of everything but fine black 
ash, among which the kuras stood blackened, and, in some 
instances, slightly cracked, but in all unharmed. Already 
skeletons of new houses were rising. No life had been lost 
except that of a tipsy man, but I should probably have lost 
everything but my money. 

1 Kak'ki, by William Anderson, F.R.C& Transactions of English 
Asiatic Society of Japan, January 1878. 



LETTER XX. (Continued.} 

Lunch in Public A Grotesque Accident Police Inquiries Man or Woman ? 
A Melancholy Stare A Vicious Horse An Ill-favoured Town A 
Disappointment A Torii. 

YUSOWA is a specially objectionable -looking place. I took 
my lunch a wretched meal of a tasteless white curd made 
from beans, with some condensed milk added to it in a yard, 
and the people crowded in hundreds to the gate, and those 
behind, being unable to see me, got ladders and climbed on 
the adjacent roofs, where they remained till one of the roofs 
gave way with a loud crash, and precipitated about fifty men, 
women, and children into the room below, which fortunately 
was vacant Nobody screamed a noteworthy fact and the 
casualties were only a few bruises. Four policemen then 
appeared and demanded my passport, as if I were responsible 
for the accident, and failing, like all others, to read a par- 
ticular word upon it, they asked me what I was travelling for, 
and on being told " to learn about the country," they asked if 
I was making a map ! Having satisfied their curiosity they 
disappeared, and the crowd surged up again in fuller force. 
The Transport Agent begged them to go away, but they said 
they might never see such a sight again ! One old peasant 
said he would go away if he were told whether " the sight " 
were a man or a woman, and, on the agent asking if that were 
any business of his, he said he should like to tell at home 
what he had seen, which awoke my sympathy at once, and I 
told Ito to tell them that a Japanese horse galloping night 
and day without ceasing would take 5^ weeks to reach my 
country a statement which he is using lavishly as I go along. 
These are such queer crowds, so silent and gaping, and they 
remain motionless for hours, the wide-awake babies on the 


mothers' backs and in the fathers' arms never crying. I 
should be glad to hear a hearty aggregate laugh, even if I 
were its object The great melancholy stare is depressing. 

The road for ten miles was thronged with country people 
going in to see the fire. It was a good road and very 
pleasant country, with numerous road-side shrines and figures 
of the goddess of mercy. I had a wicked horse, thoroughly 
vicious. His head was doubly chained to the saddle-girth, 
but he never met man, woman, or child, without laying back 
his ears and running at them to bite them. I Avas so tired 
and in so much spinal pain that I got off and walked several 
times, and it was most difficult to get on again, for as soon as 
I put my hand on the saddle he swung his hind legs round to 
kick me, and it required some agility to avoid being hurt. 
Nor was this all. The evil beast made dashes with his 
tethered head at flies, threatening to twist or demolish my 
foot at each, flung his hind legs upwards, attempted to dis- 
lodge flies on his nose with his hind hoof, executed capers 
which involved a total disappearance of everything in front of 
the saddle, squealed, stumbled, kicked his old shoes off, and 
resented the feeble attempts which the mago made to replace 
them, and finally walked in to Yokote and down its long and 
dismal street mainly on his hind legs, shaking the rope out of 
his timid leader's hand, and shaking me into a sort of aching 
jelly ! I used to think that horses were made vicious either 
by being teased or by violence in breaking ; but this does not 
account for the malignity of the Japanese horses, for the 
people are so much afraid of them that they treat them with 
great respect : they are not beaten or kicked, are spoken to in 
soothing tones, and, on the whole, live better than their 
masters. Perhaps this is the secret of their villainy "Jeshu- 
run waxed fat and kicked." 

Yokote, a town of 10,000 people, in which the best yadoyas 
are all non-respectable, is an ill-favoured, ill-smelling, forlorn, 
dirty, damp, miserable place, with a large trade in cottons. As 
I rode through on my temporary biped the people rushed out 
from the baths to see me, men and women alike without a 
particle of clothing. The house-master was very polite, but I 
had a dark and dirty room, up a bamboo ladder, and it 
swarmed with fleas and mosquitoes to an exasperating extent 


On the way I heard that a bullock was killed every Thursday 
in Yokote, and had decided on having a broiled steak for 
supper and taking another with me, but when I arrived it was 
all sold, there were no eggs, and I made a miserable meal of 
rice and bean curd, feeling somewhat starved, as the condensed 
milk I bought at Yamagata had to be thrown away. I was 
somewhat wretched from fatigue and inflamed ant bites, but in 
the early morning, hot and misty as all the mornings have been, 
I went to see a Shinto temple, or miya, and, though I went 
alone, escaped a throng. 

The entrance into the temple court was, as usual, by a font, 
which consisted of two large posts 20 feet high, surmounted 
with cross beams, the upper one of which projects beyond the 
posts and frequently curves upwards at both ends. The whole, 
as is often the case, was painted a dull red. . This torti, or 
" birds' rest," is said to be so called because the fowls, which 
were formerly offered but not sacrificed, were accustomed to 
perch upon it A straw rope, with straw tassels and strips of 
paper hanging from it, the special emblem of Shinto, hung 
across the gateway. In the paved court there were several 
handsome granite lanterns on fine granite pedestals, such as 
are the nearly universal accompaniments of both Shinto and 
Buddhist temples. 

After leaving Yakote we passed through very pretty country 
with mountain views and occasional glimpses of the snowy 
dome of Chokaizan, crossed the Omono (which has burst its 
banks and destroyed its bridges) by two troublesome ferries, 
and arrived at Rokugo, a town of 5000 people, with fine 
temples, exceptionally mean houses, and the most aggressive 
crowd by which I have yet been asphyxiated. 

There, through the good offices of the police, I was enabled 
to attend a Buddhist funeral of a merchant of some wealth. 
It interested me very much from its solemnity and decorum, 
and Ito's explanations of what went before were remarkably 
distinctly given. I went in a Japanese 'woman's dress, bor- 
rowed at the tea-house, with a blue hood over my head, and 
thus escaped all notice, but I found the restraint of the scanty 
" tied forward " kimono very tiresome. Ito gave me many in- 
junctions as to what I was to do and avoid, which I carried 
out faithfully, being nervously anxious to avoid jarring on the 




sensibilities of those who had kindly permitted a foreigner to 
be present. 

The illness was a short one, and there had been no time 
either for prayers or pilgrimages on the sick man's behalf. 
When death occurs the body is laid with its head to the north 
(a position that the living Japanese scrupulously avoid), near 
a folding screen, between which and it a new zen is placed, on 
which are a saucer of oil with a lighted rush, cakes of uncooked 

rice dough, and a saucer of incense sticks. The priests directly 
after death choose the katmiyo, or posthumous name, write it 
on a tablet of white wood, and seat themselves by the corpse ; 
his zen, bowls, cups, etc., are filled with vegetable food and are 
placed by his side, the chopsticks being put on the wrong, i.e. 
the left, side of the zen. At the end of forty-eight hours the 
corpse is arranged for the coffin by being washed with warm 
water, and the priest, while saying certain prayers, shaves the 
head. In all cases, rich or poor, the dress is of the usual 
make, but of pure white linen or cotton. 

At Omagori, a town near Rokugo, large earthenware jars 


are manufactured, which are much used for interment by the 
wealthy ; but in this case there were two square boxes, the outer 
one being of finely planed wood of the Retinospora obtusa. 
The poor use what is called the " quick-tub," a covered tub of 
pine hooped with bamboo. Women are dressed for burial in 
the silk robe worn on the marriage day, tabi are placed beside 
them or on their feet, and their hair usually flows loosely be- 
hind them. The wealthiest people fill the coffin with vermilion 
and the poorest use chaff; but in this case I heard that only 
the mouth, nose, and ears were filled with vermilion, and that 
the coffin was filled up with coarse incense. The body is 
placed within the tub or box in the usual squatting position. 
It is impossible to understand how a human body, many hours 
after death, can be pressed into the limited space afforded by 
even the outermost of the boxes. It has been said that the 
rigidity of a corpse is overcome by the use of a powder called 
dosta, which is sold by the priests ; but this idea has been 
exploded, and the process remains incomprehensible. 

Bannerets of small size and ornamental staves were outside 
the house door. Two men in blue dresses, with pale blue 
over-garments resembling wings received each person, two 
more presented a lacquered bowl of water and a white silk 
crepe towel, and then we passed into a large room, round which 
were arranged a number of very handsome folding screens, on 
which lotuses, storks, and peonies were realistically painted on 
a dead gold ground. Near the end of the room the coffin, 
under a canopy of white silk, upon which there was a very 
beautiful arrangement of artificial white lotuses, rested upon 
trestles, the face of the corpse being turned towards the north. 
Six priests, very magnificently dressed, sat on each side of the 
coffin, and two more knelt in front of a small temporary altar. 

The widow, an extremely pretty woman, squatted near the 
deceased, below the father and mother ; and after her came 
the children, relatives, and friends, who sat in rows, dressed in 
winged garments of blue and white. The widow was painted 
white ; her lips were reddened with vermilion ; her hair was 
elaborately dressed and ornamented with carved shell pins ; 
she wore a beautiful dress of sky-blue silk, with a haori of fine 
white crepe and a scarlet crepe girdle embroidered in gold, and 
looked like a bride on her marriage day rather than a widow. 


Indeed, owing to the beauty of the dresses and the amount of 
blue and white silk, the room had a festal rather than a funereal 
look. When all the guests had arrived, tea and sweetmeats 
were passed round ; incense was burned profusely ; litanies 
were mumbled, and the bustle of moving to the grave began, 
during which I secured a place near the gate of the temple 

The procession did not contain the father or mother oi 
the deceased, but I understood that the mourners who com- 
posed it were all relatives. The oblong tablet with the " dead 
name " of the deceased was carried first by a priest, then the 
lotus blossom by another priest, then ten priests followed, two 
and two, chanting litanies from books, then came the coffin 
on a platform borne by four men and covered with white 
drapery, then the widow, and then the other relatives. The 
coffin was carried into the temple and laid upon trestles, while 
incense was burned and prayers were said, and was then carried 
to a shallow grave lined with cement, and prayers were said by 
the priests until the earth was raised to the proper level, when 
all dispersed, and the widow, in her gay attire, walked home 
unattended. There were no hired mourners or any signs of 
grief, but nothing could be more solemn, reverent, and decorous 
than the whole service. [I have since seen many funerals, 
chiefly of the poor, and, though shorn of much of the ceremony, 
and with only one officiating priest, the decorum was always 
most remarkable.] The fees to the priests are from 2 up to 40 
or 50 yen. The graveyard, which surrounds the temple, was 
extremely beautiful, and the cryptomeria specially fine. It was 
very full of stone gravestones, and, like all Japanese cemeteries, 
exquisitely kept. As soon as the grave was filled in, a life-size 
pink lotus plant was placed upon it, and a lacquer tray, on 
which were lacquer bowls containing tea or sake, beans, and 

The temple at Rokugo was very beautiful, and, except that 
its ornaments were superior in solidity and good taste, differed 
little from a Romish church. The low altar, on which were 
lilies and lighted candles, was draped in blue and silver, and 
on the high altar, draped in crimson and cloth of gold, there 
was nothing but a closed shrine, an incense-burner, and a vase 
of lotuses. 


LETTER XX. (Concluded.) 

A Casual Invitation A Ludicrous Incident Politeness of a Policeman A 
Comfortless Sunday An Outrageous Irruption A Privileged Stare. 

AT a wayside tea-house, soon after leaving Rokugo in kur- 
umas, I met the same courteous and agreeable young doctor 
who was stationed at Innai during the prevalence of kaKke, 
and he invited me to visit the hospital at Kubota, of which 
he is junior physician, and told Ito of a restaurant at which 
"foreign food" can be obtained a pleasant prospect, of 
which he is always reminding me. 

Travelling along a very narrow road, I as usual first, we 
met a man leading a prisoner by a rope, followed by a policy- 
man. As soon as my runner saw the latter he fell down on 
his face so suddenly in the shafts as nearly to throw me out, 
at the same time trying to wriggle into a garment which he 
had carried on the crossbar, while the young men who were 
drawing the two kurumas behind, crouching behind my vehicle, 
tried to scuttle into their clothes. I never saw such a picture 
of abjectness as my man presented He trembled from head 
to foot, and illustrated that queer phrase often heard in Scotch 
Presbyterian prayers, " Lay our hands on our mouths and our 
mouths in the dust." He literally grovelled in the dust, and 
with every sentence that the policeman spoke raised his head 
a little, to bow it yet more deeply than before. It was all 
because he had no clothes on. I interceded for him as the 
day was very hot, and the policeman said he would not arrest 
him, as he should otherwise have done, because of the incon- 
venience that it would cause to a foreigner. He was quite an 
elderly man, and never recovered his spirits, but, as soon as a 
turn of the road took us out of the policeman's sight, the two 


younger men threw their clothes into the air and gambolled 
in the shafts, shrieking with laughter ! 

On reaching Shingoji, being too tired to go farther, I was 
dismayed to find nothing but a low, dark, foul-smelling room, 
enclosed only by dirty shdji, in which to spend Sunday. One 
side looked into a little mildewed court, with a slimy growth 
of Protococcus viridis, and into which the people of another 
house constantly came to stare. The other side opened on 
the earthen passage into the street, where travellers wash their 
feet, the third into the kitchen, and the fourth into the front 
room. Even before dark it was alive with mosquitoes, and 
the fleas hopped on the mats like sand-flies. There were no 
eggs, nothing but rice and cucumbers. At five on Sunday 
morning I saw three faces pressed against the outer lattice, 
and before evening the shdji were riddled with finger-holes, at 
each of which a dark eye appeared. There was a still, fine 
rain all day, with the mercury at 82, and the heat, darkness, 
and smells were difficult to endure. In the afternoon a small 
procession passed the house, consisting of a decorated palan- 
quin, carried and followed by priests, with capes and stoles 
over crimson chasubles and white cassocks. This ark, they 
said, contained papers inscribed with the names of people and 
the evils they feared, and the priests were carrying the papers 
to throw them into the river. 

I went to bed early as a refuge from mosquitoes, with the 
andon, as usual, dimly lighting the room, and shut my eyes. 
About nine I heard a good deal of whispering and shuffling, 
which continued for some time, and, on looking up, saw 
opposite to me about 40 men, women, and children (Ito says 
100), all staring at me, with the light upon their faces. They 
had silently removed three of the shdji next the passage ! I 
called Ito loudly, and clapped my hands, but they did not stir 
till he came, and then they fled like a flock of sheep. I have 
patiently, and even smilingly, borne all out-of-doors crowding 
and curiosity, but this kind of intrusion is unbearable ; and I 
sent Ito to the police station, much against his will, to beg the 
police to keep the people out of the house, as the house- 
master was unable to do so. This morning, as I was finish- 
ing dressing, a policeman appeared in my room, ostensibly to 
apologise for the behaviour of the people, but in reality to have 



a privileged stare at me, and, above all, at my stretcher and 
mosquito net, from which he hardly took his eyes. Ito says 
he could make a yen a day by showing them ! The policeman 
said that the people had never seen a foreigner. 

I. L. B. 




The Necessity of Firmness Perplexing Misrepresentations Gliding with the 
Stream Suburban Residences The Kubota Hospital A Formal Recep- 
tion The Normal School 

KUBOTA, July 23. 

I ARRIVED here on Monday afternoon by the river Omono, 
what would have been two long days' journey by land having 
been easily accomplished in nine hours by water. This was 
an instance of forming a plan wisely, and adhering to it re- 
solutely ! Firmness in travelling is nowhere more necessary 
than in Japan. I decided some time ago, from Mr. Brunton's 
map, that the Omono must be navigable from Shingoji, and a 
week ago told Ito to inquire about it, but at each place 
difficulties have been started. There was too much water, 
there was too little ; there were bad rapids, there were 
shallows ; it was too late in the year ; all the boats which had 
started lately were lying aground ; but at one of the ferries I 
saw in the distance a merchandise boat going down, and told 
Ito I should go that way and no other. On arriving at 
Shingoji they said it was not on the Omono at all, but on a 
stream with some very bad rapids, in which boats are broken 
to pieces. Lastly, they said there was no boat, but on my 
saying that I would send ten miles for one, a small, flat- 
bottomed scow was produced by the Transport Agent, into 
which Ito, the luggage, and myself accurately fitted. Ito 
sententiously observed, " Not one thing has been told us on 
our journey which has turned out true ! " This is not an ex- 
aggeration. The usual crowd did not assemble round the 
door, but preceded me to the river, where it covered the banks 
and clustered in the trees. Four policemen escorted me 
down. The voyage of forty-two miles was delightful. The 


rapids were a mere ripple, the current was strong, one boat- 
man almost slept upon his paddle, the other only woke to 
bale the boat when it was half-full of water, the shores were 
silent and pretty, and almost without population till we 
reached the large town of Araya, which straggles along a high 
bank for a considerable distance, and after nine peaceful hours 
we turned off from the main stream of the Omono just at the 
outskirts of Kubota, and poled up a narrow, green river, 
fringed by dilapidated backs of houses, boat-building yards, 
and rafts of timber on one side, and dwelling-houses, gardens, 
and damp greenery on the other. This stream is crossed 
by very numerous bridges. 

I got a cheerful upstairs room at a most friendly yadoya, 
and my three days here have been fully occupied and very 
pleasant. " Foreign food " a 1 good beef-steak, an excellent 
curry, cucumbers, and foreign salt and mustard, were at once 
obtained, and I felt my "eyes lightened" after partaking of 

Kubota is a very attractive and purely Japanese town of 
36,000 people, the capital of Akita ken. A fine mountain, 
called Taiheisan, rises above its fertile valley, and the Omono 
falls into the Sea of Japan close to it. It has a number of 
kurumas, but, owing to heavy sand and the badness of the 
roads, they can only go three miles in any direction. It is a 
town of activity and brisk trade, and manufactures a silk fabric 
in stripes of blue and black, and yellow and black, much used 
for making hakama and kimonos, a species of white silk crepe 
with a raised woof, which brings a high price in Tokiyo shops, 
fusuma, and clogs. Though it is a castle town, it is free from 
the usual " deadly-lively " look, and has an air of prosperity 
and comfort Though it has few streets of shops, it covers a 
great extent of ground with streets and lanes of pretty, isolated 
dwelling-houses, surrounded by trees, gardens, and well-trimmed 
hedges, each garden entered by a substantial gateway. The 
existence of something like a middle class with home privacy 
and home life is suggested by these miles of comfortable 
" suburban residences." Foreign influence is hardly at all felt, 
there is not a single foreigner in Government or any other 
employment, and even the hospital was organised from the 
beginning by Japanese doctors. 


This fact made me greatly desire to see it, but, on going 
there at the proper hour for visitors, I was met by the Director 
with courteous but vexatious denial. No foreigner could see 
it, he said, without sending his passport to the Governor and 
getting a written order, so I complied with these preliminaries, 
and 8 A.M. of the next day was fixed for my visit. Ito, who 
is lazy about interpreting for the lower orders, but exerts 
himself to the utmost on such an occasion as this, went with 
me, handsomely clothed in silk, as befitted an " Interpreter," 
and surpassed all his former efforts. 

The Director and the staff of six physicians, all handsomely 
dressed in silk, met me at the top of the stairs, and conducted 
me to the management room, where six clerks were writing. 
Here there was a table, solemnly covered with a white cloth, 
and four chairs, on which the Director, the Chief Physician, 
Ito, and I sat, and pipes, tea, and sweetmeats, were produced. 
After this, accompanied by fifty medical students, whose in- 
telligent looks promise well for their success, we went round 
the hospital, which is a large two-storied building in semi- 
European style, but with deep verandahs all round. The 
upper floor is used for class-rooms, and the lower accom- 
modates ioo*patients, besides a number of resident students. 
Ten is the largest number treated in any one room, and 
severe cases are treated in separate rooms. Gangrene has 
prevailed, and the Chief Physician, who is at this time re- 
modelling the hospital, has closed some of the wards in 
consequence. There is a Lock Hospital under the same roof. 
About fifty important operations are annually performed under 
chloroform, but_the people of Akita ken are very conservative, 
and object to part with their limbs and to foreign drugs. This 
conservatism diminishes the number of patients. 

The odour of carbolic acid pervaded the whole hospital, 
and there were spray producers enough to satisfy Mr. Lister ! 
At the request of Dr. K. I saw the dressing of some very 
severe wounds carefully performed with carbolised gauze, 
under spray of carbolic acid, the fingers of the surgeon and 
the instruments used being all carefully bathed in the dis- 
infectant. Dr. K. said it was difficult to teach the students 
the extreme carefulness with regard to minor details which is 
required in the antiseptic treatment, which he regards as one 


of the greatest discoveries of this century. I was very much 
impressed with the fortitude shown by the surgical patients, 
who went through very severe pain without a wince or a moaa 
Eye cases are unfortunately very numerous. Dr. K. attributes 
their extreme prevalence to overcrowding, defective ventilation, 
poor living, and bad light 

After our round we returned to the management room to 
find a meal laid out in English style coffee in cups with 
handles and saucers, and plates with spoons. After this 
pipes were again produced, and the Director and medical 
staff escorted me to the entrance, where we all bowed pro- 
foundly. I was delighted to see that Dr. Kayabashi, a man 
under thirty, and fresh from Tokiyo, and all the staff and 
students were in the national dress, with the hakama of rich 
silk. It is a beautiful dress, and assists dignity as much as 
the ill-fitting European costume detracts from it. This was a 
very interesting visit, in spite of the difficulty of communication 
through an interpreter. 

The public buildings, with their fine gardens, and the 
broad road near which they stand, with its stone-faced em- 
bankments, are very striking in such a far-off ken. Among 
the finest of the buildings is the Normal School, where I 
shortly afterwards presented myself, but I was not admitted 
till I had shown my passport and explained my objects in 
travelling. These preliminaries being settled, Mr. Tomatsu 
Aoki, the Chief Director, and Mr. Shude Kane Nigishi, the 
principal teacher, both looking more like monkeys than men 
in their European clothes, lionised me. 

The first was most trying, for he persisted in attempting to 
speak English, of which he knows about as much as I know of 
Japanese, but the last, after some grotesque attempts, accepted 
Ito's services. The school is a commodious Europeanised 
building, three stories high, and from its upper balcony the 
view of the city, with its gray roofs and abundant greenery, 
and surrounding mountains and valleys, is very fine. The 
equipments of the different class-rooms surprised me, especially 
the laboratory of the chemical class-room, and the truly magni- 
ficent illustrative apparatus in the natural science class-room. 
Ganot's " Physics " is the text book of that department. 

I. L. B. 



A Silk Factory Employment for Women A Police Escort The 
Japanese Police Force. 

KUBOTA, July 23. 

MY next visit was to a factory of handloom silk-weavers, where 
1 80 hands, half of them women, are employed. These new 
industrial openings for respectable employment for women and 
girls are very important, and tend in the direction of a much- 
needed social reform. The striped silk fabrics produced are 
entirely for home consumption. 

Afterwards I went into the principal street, and, after a long 
search through the shops, bought some condensed milk with 
the " Eagle " brand and the label all right, but, on opening it, 
found it to contain small pellets of a brownish, dried curd, with 
an unpleasant taste ! As I was sitting in the shop, half stifled 
by the crowd, the people suddenly fell back to a respectful 
distance, leaving me breathing space, and a message came from 
the chief of police to say that he was very sorry for the crowd- 
ing, and had ordered two policemen to attend upon me for the 
remainder of my visit. The black and yellow uniforms were 
most truly welcome, and since then I have escaped all annoy- 
ance. On my return I found the card of the chief of police, 
who had left a message with the house-master apologising for 
the crowd by saying that foreigners very rarely visited Kubota, 
and he thought that the people had never seen a foreign 

I went afterwards to the central police station to inquire 
about an inland route to Aomori, and received much courtesy, 
but no information. The police everywhere are very gentle to 
the people, a few quiet words or a wave of the hand are 
sufficient, when they do not resist them. They belong to the 


samurai class, and, doubtless, their naturally superior position 
weighs with the heimin. Their faces and a certain hauteur of 
manner show the indelible class distinction. The entire police 
force of Japan numbers 23,300 educated men in the prime of 
life, and if 30 per cent of them do wear spectacles, it does not 
detract from their usefulness. 5600 of them are stationed at 
Yedo, as from thence they can be easily sent wherever they are 
wanted, 1004 at Kiyoto, and 815 at Osaka, and the remaining 
10,000 are spread over the country. The police force costs 
something over ^400,000 annually, and certainly is very effi- 
cient in preserving good order. The pay of ordinary constables 
ranges from 6 to loyen a month. An enormous quantity of 
superfluous writing is done by all officialdom in Japan, and one 
usually sees policemen writing. What comes of it I don't 
know. They are mostly intelligent and gentlemanly-looking 
young men, and foreigners in the interior are really much 
indebted to them. If I am at any time in difficulties I apply 
to them, and, though they are disposed to be somewhat de haut 
en &as, they are sure to help one, except about routes, of which 
they always profess ignorance. 

On the whole, I like Kubota better than any other Japanese 
town, perhaps because it is so completely Japanese and has no 
air of having seen better days. I no longer care to meet 
Europeans indeed I should go far out of my way to avoid 
them. I have become quite used to Japanese life, and think 
that I learn more about it in travelling in this solitary way than 
I should otherwise. I. L. R 




"A Plague of Immoderate Rain " A Confidential Servant Ito's Diary Ito's 
Excellences Ito's Faults A Prophecy of the Future of Japan Curious 
Queries Superfine English Economical Travelling The Japanese Pack- 
horse again. 

KUBOTA, July 24. 

I AM here still, not altogether because the town is fascinating, 
but because the rain is so ceaseless as to be truly " a plague of 
immoderate rain and waters." Travellers keep coming in with 
stories of the impassability of the roads and the carrying away 
of bridges. Ito amuses me very much by his remarks. He 
thinks that my visit to the school and hospital must have 
raised Japan in my estimation, and he is talking rather big. 
He asked me if 1 noticed that all the students kept their 
mouths shut like educated men and residents of Tokiyo, and 
that all country people keep theirs open. I have said little 
about him for some time, but I daily feel more dependent on 
him, not only for all information, but actually for getting on. 
At night he has my watch, passport, and half my money, and 
I often wonder what would become of me if he absconded 
before morning. He is not a good boy. He has no moral 
sense, according to our notions ; he dislikes foreigners ; his 
manner is often very disagreeable ; and yet I doubt whether I 
could have obtained a more valuable servant and interpreter. 
When we left Tokiyo he spoke fairly good English, but by 
practice and industrious study he now speaks better than any 
official interpreter that I have seen, and his vocabulary is daily 
increasing. He never uses a word inaccurately when he has 
once got hold of its meaning, and his memory never fails. 
He keeps a diary both in English and Japanese, and it shows 
much painstaking observation. He reads it to me sometimes, 


and it is interesting to hear what a young man who has 
travelled as much as he has regards as novel in this northern 
region. He has made a hotel book and a transport book, in 
which all the bills and receipts are written, and he daily trans- 
literates the names of all places into English letters, and puts 
down the distances and the sums paid for transport and hotels 
on each bill 

He inquires the number of houses in each place from the 
police or Transport Agent, and the special trade of each town, 
and notes them down for me. He takes great pains to be 
accurate, and occasionally remarks about some piece of inform- 
ation that he is not quite certain about, " If it's not true, it's 
not worth having." He is never late, never dawdles, never 
goes out in the evening except on errands for me, never 
touches sake, is never disobedient, never requires to be told 
the same thing twice, is always within hearing, has a good deal 
of tact as to what he repeats, and all with an undisguised view 
to his own interest He sends most of his wages to his 
mother, who is a widow " It's the custom of the country " 
and seems to spend the remainder on sweetmeats, tobacco, 
and the luxury of frequent shampooing. 

That he would tell a lie if it served his purpose, and would 
"squeeze" up to the limits of extortion, if he could do it 
unobserved, I have not the slightest doubt. He seems to 
have but little heart, or any idea of any but vicious pleasures. 
He has no religion of any kind ; he has been too much with 
foreigners for that. His frankness is something startling. He 
has no idea of reticence on any subject ; but probably I learn 
more about things as they really are from this very defect In 
virtue in man or woman, except in that of his former master, 
he has little, if any belief. He thinks that Japan is right in 
availing herself of the discoveries made by foreigners, that they 
have as much to learn from her, and that she will outstrip 
them in the race, because she takes all that is worth having, 
and rejects the incubus of Christianity. Patriotism is, I think, 
his strongest feeling, and I never met with such a boastful 
display of it, except in a Scotchman or an American. He 
despises the uneducated, as he can read and write both the 
syllabaries. For foreign rank or position he has not an atom 
of reverence or value, but a great deal of both for Japanese 

LETTEE xxin.] AN APT PUPIL. 163 

officialdom. He despises the intellects of women, but flirts 
in a town-bred fashion with the simple tea-house girls. 

He is anxious to speak the very best English, and to say 
that a word is slangy or common interdicts its use. Some- 
times, when the weather is fine and things go smoothly, he is 
in an excellent and communicative humour, and talks a good 
deal as we travel. A few days ago I remarked, " What a 
beautiful day this is !" and soon after, note-book in hand, he 
said, " You say ' a beautiful day.' Is that better English than 
'a devilish fine day,' which most foreigners say?" I replied 
that it was " common," and " beautiful " has been brought out 
frequently since. Again, " When you ask a question you 
never say, ' What the d 1 is it ?' as other foreigners do. Is it 
proper for men to say it and not for women ?" I told him it 
was proper for neither, it was a very "common" word, and I 
saw that he erased it from his note-book. At first he always 
used fellows for men, as, " Will you have one or two fellows 
for your kuruma ?" "fellows and women." At last he called 
the Chief Physician of the hospital here a fellow, on which I 
told him that it was slightly slangy, and at least " colloquial," 
and for two days he has scrupulously spoken of man and men. 
To-day he brought a boy with very sore eyes to see me, on 
which I exclaimed, " Poor little fellow !" and this evening he 
. said, " You called that boy a fellow, I thought it was a bad 
word !" The habits of many of the Yokohama foreigners have 
helped to obliterate any distinctions between right and wrong, 
if he ever made any. If he wishes to tell me that he has seen 
a very tipsy man, he always says he has seen " a fellow as 
drunk as an Englishman." At Nikko I asked him how many 
legal wives a man could have in Japan, and he replied, " Only 
one lawful one, but as many others (mekake) as he can support, 
just as Englishmen have." He never forgets a correction. 
Till I told him it was slangy he always spoke of inebriated 
people as " tight," and when I gave him the words " tipsy," 
" drunk," " intoxicated," he asked me which one would use in 
writing good English, and since then he has always spoken of 
people as "intoxicated." 

He naturally likes large towns, and tries to deter me from 
taking the " unbeaten tracks," which I prefer ; but when he 
finds me immovable, always concludes his arguments with the 


same formula, " Well, of course you can do as you like ; it's all 
the same to me." I do not think he cheats me to any extent. 
Board, lodging, and travelling expenses for us both are about 
6s. 6d a day, and about as. 6d. when we are stationary, and 
this includes all gratuities and extras. True, the board and 
lodging consist of tea, rice, and eggs, a copper basin of water, 
an andon and an empty room, for, though there are plenty of 
chickens in all the villages, the people won't be bribed to sell 
them for killing, though they would gladly part with them if 
they were to be kept to lay eggs. Ito amuses me nearly every 
night with stories of his unsuccessful attempts to provide me 
with animal food. 

The travelling is the nearest approach to "a ride on a rail " 
that I have ever made. I have now ridden, or rather sat, upon 
seventy-six horses, all horrible. They all stumble. The loins 
of some are higher than their shoulders, so that one slips for- 
wards, and the back-bones of all are ridgy. Their hind feet 
grow into points which turn up, and their hind legs all turn 
outwards, like those of a cat, from carrying heavy burdens at 
an early age. The same thing gives them a roll in their gait, 
which is increased by their awkward shoes. In summer they 
feed chiefly on leaves, supplemented with mashes of bruised 
beans, and instead of straw they sleep on beds of leaves. In 
their stalls their heads are tied "where their tails should be," 
and their fodder is placed not in a manger, but in a swinging 
bucket. Those used in this part of Japan are worth from 15 
to 30 yen. I have not seen any overloading or ill-treatment ; 
they are neither kicked, nor beaten, nor threatened in rough 
tones, and when they die they are decently buried, and have 
stones placed over their graves. It might be well if the end 
of a worn-out horse were somewhat accelerated, but this is 
mainly a Buddhist region, and the aversion to taking animal 
life is very strong. I. L. B. 



The Symbolism of Seaweed Afternoon Visitors An Infant Prodigy A Feat 
in Culigraphy Child Worship A Borrowed Dress A Trousseau House 
Furniture The Marriage Ceremony. 

KUBOTA, July 25. 

THE weather at last gives a hope of improvement, and I think 
I shall leave to-morrow. I had written this sentence when Ito 
came in to say that the man in the next house would like to 
see my stretcher and mosquito net, and had sent me a bag of 
cakes with the usual bit of seaweed attached, to show that it 
was a present. The Japanese believe themselves to be de- 
scended from a race of fishermen ; they are proud of it, and 
Yebis, the god of fishermen, is one of the most popular of the 
household divinities. The piece of seaweed sent with a pre- 
sent to any ordinary person, and the piece of dried fish-skin 
which accompanies a present to the Mikado, record the origin 
of the race, and at the same time typify the dignity of simple 

Of course I consented to receive the visitor, and with the 
mercury at 84, five men, two boys, and five women entered 
my small, low room, and after bowing to the earth three times, 
sat down on the floor. They had evidently come to spend the 
afternoon. Trays of tea and sweetmeats were handed round, 
and a tabako-bon was brought in, and they all smoked, as I 
had told Ito that all usual courtesies were to be punctiliously 
performed. They expressed their gratification at seeing so 
"honourable" a traveller. I expressed mine at seeing so 
much of their " honourable " country. Then we all bowed 
profoundly. Then I laid Brunton's map on the floor and 
showed them my route, showed them the Asiatic Society's 
Transactions, and how we read from left to right, instead of 


from top to bottom, showed them my knitting, which amazed 
them, and my Berlin work, and then had nothing left. Then 
they began to entertain me, and I found that the real object of 
their visit was to exhibit an " infant prodigy," a boy of four, 
with a head shaven all but a tuft on the top, a face of preter- 
natural thoughtfulness and gravity, and the self-possessed and 
dignified demeanour of an elderly man. He was dressed in 
scarlet silk hakama, and a dark, striped, blue silk kimono, and 
fanned himself gracefully, looking at everything as intelligently 
and courteously as the others. To talk child's talk to him, or 
show him toys, or try to amuse him, would have been an in- 
sult. The monster has taught himself to read and write, and 
has composed poetry. His father says that he never plays, 
and understands everything just like a grown person. The 
intention was that I should ask him to write, and I did so. 

It was a solemn performance. A red blanket was laid in 
the middle of the floor, with a lacquer writing-box upon it. 
The creature rubbed the ink with water on the inkstone, un- 
rolled four rolls of paper, five feet long, and inscribed them 
with Chinese characters, nine inches long, of the most compli- 
cated kind, with firm and graceful curves of his brush, and 
with the ease and certainty of Giotto in turning his O. He 
sealed them with his seal in vermilion, bowed three times, and 
the performance was ended. People get him to write kakemonos 
and signboards for them, and he had earned 10 yen, or about 
2, that day. His father is going to travel to Kiyoto with 
him, to see if any one under fourteen can write as well I 
never saw such an exaggerated instance of child worship. 
Father, mother, friends, and servants, treated him as if he 
were a prince. 

The house-master, who is a most polite man, procured me 
an invitation to the marriage of his niece, and I have just re- 
turned from it. He has three " wives " himself. One keeps 
a yadoya in Kiyoto, another in Morioka, and the third and 
youngest is with him here. From her limitless stores of 
apparel she chose what she considered a suitable dress for me 
an under-dress of sage green silk crepe, a kimono of soft, 
green, striped silk of a darker shade, with a fold of white 
cr&pe, spangled with gold at the neck, and a girdle of sage 
green corded silk, with the family badge here and there 


upon it in gold I went with the house-master, Ito, to his 
disgust, not being invited, and his absence was like the loss of 
one of my senses, as I could not get any explanations till after- 

The ceremony did not correspond with the rules laid down 
for marriages in the books of etiquette that I have seen, but 
this is accounted for by the fact that they were for persons of 
the samurai class, while this bride and bridegroom, though the 
children of well-to-do merchants, belong to the heimin. 

In this case the trousseau and furniture were conveyed to 
the bridegroom's house in the early morning, and I was allowed 
to go to see them. There were several girdles of silk embroidered 
with gold, several pieces of brocaded silk for kimonos, several 
pieces of silk crtpe, a large number of made-up garments, a 
piece of white silk, six barrels of wine or sake, and seven sorts 
of condiments. Jewellery is not worn by women in Japan. 

The furniture consisted of two wooden pillows, finely lac- 
quered, one of them containing a drawer for ornamental hair- 
pins, some cotton futons, two very handsome silk ones, a few 
silk cushions, a lacquer workbox, a spinning-wheel, a lacquer 
rice bucket and ladle, two ornamental iron kettles, various 
kitchen utensils, three bronze hibachi, two tabako-bons, some 
lacquer trays, and zens, china kettles, teapots, and cups, some 
lacquer rice bowls, two copper basins, a few towels, some 
bamboo switches, and an inlaid lacquer etaglre. As the things 
are all very handsome the parents must be well off. The sakk 
is sent in accordance with rigid etiquette. 

The bridegroom is twenty-two, the bride seventeen, and 
very comely, so far as I could see through the paint with which 
she was profusely disfigured. Towards evening she was carried 
in a norimon, accompanied by her parents and friends, to the 
bridegroom's house, each member of the procession carrying a 
Chinese lantern. When the house-master and I arrived the 
wedding party was assembled in a large room, the parents and 
friends of the bridegroom being seated on one side, and those 
of the bride on the other. Two young girls, very beautifully 
dressed, brought in the bride, a very pleasing-looking creature 
dressed entirely in white silk, with a veil of white silk covering 
her from head to foot. The bridegroom, who was already 
seated in the middle of the room near its upper part, did . not 


rise to receive her, and kept his eyes fixed on the ground, and 
she sat opposite to him, but never looked up. A low table 
was placed in front, on which there was a two-spouted kettle 
full of sake, some sake bottles, and some cups, and on another 
there were some small figures representing a fir-tree, a plum-tree 
in blossom, and a stork standing on a tortoise, the last represent- 
ing length of days, and the former the beauty of women and the 
strength of men. Shortly a zen, loaded with eatables, was placed 
before each person, and the feast began, accompanied by the 
noises which signify gastronomic gratification. 

After this, which was only a preliminary, the two girls who 
brought in the bride handed round a tray with three cups con- 
taining sake, which each person was expected to drain till he 
came to the god of luck at the bottom. 

The bride and bridegroom then retired, but shortly re- 
appeared in other dresses of ceremony, but the bride still wore 
her white silk veil, which one day will be her shroud. An old 
gold lacquer tray was produced, with three sake cups, which were 
filled by the two bridesmaids, and placed before the parents- 
in-law and the bride. The father-in-law drank three cups, and 
handed the cup to the bride, who, after drinking two cups, re- 
ceived from her father-in-law a present in a box, drank the 
third cup, and then returned the cup to the father-in-law, who 
again drank three cups. Rice and fish were next brought in, 
after which the bridegroom's mother took the second cup, and 
filled and emptied it three times, after which she passed it to 
the bride, who drank two cups, received a present from her 
mother-in-law in a lacquer box, drank a third cup, and gave 
the cup to the elder lady, who again drank three cups. Soup 
was then served, and then the bride drank once from the third 
cup, and handed it to her husband's father, who drank three 
more cups, the bride took it again, and drank two, and lastly 
the mother-in-law drank three more cups. Now, if you possess 
the clear-sightedness which I laboured to preserve, you will 
perceive that each of the three had inbibed nine cups of some 
generous liquor I 1 

After this the two bridesmaids raised the two -spouted 

1 I failed to learn what the liquor was which was drunk so freely, but as no 
unseemly effects followed its use, I think it must either have been light Osaka 
wine, or light sak(. 


kettle and presented it to the lips of the married pair, who 
drank from it alternately, till they had exhausted its contents. 
This concluding ceremony is said to be emblematic of the 
tasting together of the joys and sorrows of life. And so they 
became man and wife till death or divorce parted them. 

This drinking of sakk or wine, according to prescribed 
usage, appeared to constitute the " marriage service," to which 
none but relations were bidden. Immediately afterwards the 
wedding guests arrived, and the evening was spent in feasting 
and sake drinking ; but the fare is simple, and intoxication is 
happily out of place at a marriage feast. Every detail is a 
matter of etiquette, and has been handed down for centuries. 
Except for the interest of the ceremony, in that light it was a 
very dull and tedious affair, conducted in melancholy silence, 
and the young bride, with her whitened face and painted lips, 
looked and moved like an automaton. I. L. B. 

o 2 



A Holiday Scene A Matsirn. Attractions of the Revel Matsuri Cars- 
Gods and Demons A Possible Harbour A Village Forge Prosperity of 
Sakt Brewers A ' ' Great Sight. " 

TSUGURATA, July 27. 

THREE miles of good road thronged with half the people of 
Kubota on foot and in kurumas, red vans drawn by horses, 
pairs of policemen in kurumas, hundreds of children being 
carried, hundreds more on foot, little girls, formal and pre- 
cocious looking, with hair dressed with scarlet critpe and 
flowers, hobbling toilsomely along on high clogs, groups of 
men and women, never intermixing, stalls driving a "roaring 
trade " in cakes and sweetmeats, women making mochi as fast 
as the buyers ate it, broad rice-fields rolling like a green sea on 
the right, an ocean of liquid turquoise on the left, the grey 
roofs of Kubota looking out from their green surroundings, 
Taiheisan in deepest indigo blocking the view to the south, a 
glorious day, and a summer sun streaming over all, made up 
the cheeriest and most festal scene that I have seen in Japan ; 
men, women, and children, vans and kurumas, policemen and 
horsemen, all on their way to a mean-looking town, Minato, 
the junk port of Kubota, which was keeping matsurt, or festival, 
in honour of the birthday of the god Shimmai. Towering 
above the low grey houses there were objects which at first 
looked like five enormous black fingers, then like trees with 
their branches wrapped in black, and then comparisons 
ceased ; they were a mystery. 

Dismissing the kurumas, which could go no farther, we 
dived into the crowd, which was wedged along a mean street, 
nearly a mile long a miserable street of poor tea-houses and 
poor shop-fronts ; but, in fact, you could hardly see the street 


for the people. Paper lanterns were hung close together along 
its whole length. There were rude scaffoldings supporting 
matted and covered platforms, on which people were drinking 
tea and sake, and enjoying the crowd below; monkey theatres 
and dog theatres, two mangy sheep and a lean pig attracting 
wondering crowds, for neither of these animals is known in 
this region of Japan ; a booth in which a woman was having 
her head cut off every half-hour for 2 sen a spectator ; cars 
with roofs like temples, on which, with forty men at the ropes, 
dancing children of the highest class were being borne in 
procession; a theatre with an open front, on the boards of 
which two men in antique dresses, with sleeves touching the 
ground, were performing with tedious slowness a classic dance 
of tedious posturings, which consisted mainly in dexterous 
movements of the aforesaid sleeves, and occasional emphatic 
stampings, and utterances of the word N6 in a hoarse howl. 
It is needless to say that a foreign lady was not the least of 
the attractions of the fair. The cultus of children was in full 
force, all sorts of masks, dolls, sugar figures, toys, and sweet- 
meats were exposed for sale on mats on the ground, and found 
their way into the hands and sleeves of the children, for no 
Japanese parent would ever attend a matsuri without making 
an offering to his child. 

The police told me that there were 22,000 strangers in 
Minato, yet for 32,000 holiday-makers a force of twenty-five 
policemen was sufficient. I did not see one person under 
the influence of sake up to 3 P.M., when I left, nor a solitary 
instance of rude or improper behaviour, nor was I in any way 
rudely crowded upon, for, even where the crowd was densest, 
the people of their own accord formed a ring and left me 
breathing space. 

We went to the place where the throng was greatest, round 
the two great matsuri cars, whose colossal erections we had 
seen far off. These were structures of heavy beams, thirty 
feet long, with eight huge, solid wheels. Upon them there 
were several scaffoldings with projections, like flat surfaces of 
cedar branches, and two special peaks of unequal height at the 
top, the whole being nearly fifty feet from the ground. All 
these projections were covered with black cotton cloth, from 
which branches of pines protruded. In the middle three small 


wheels, one above another, over which striped white cotton 
was rolling perpetually, represented a waterfall ; at the bottom 
another arrangement of white cotton represented a river, and 
an arrangement of blue cotton, fitfully agitated by a pair of 
bellows below, represented the sea. The whole is intended to 
represent a mountain on which the Shinto gods slew some 
devils, but anything more rude and barbarous could scarcely 
be seen. On the fronts of each car, under a canopy, were 
thirty performers on thirty diabolical instruments, which rent 
the air with a truly infernal discord, and suggested devils 
rather than their conquerors. High up on the flat projections 
there were groups of monstrous figures. On one a giant in 
brass armour, much like the Nio of temple gates, was killing a 
revolting-looking demon. On another a daimiy&s daughter, in 
robes of cloth of gold with satin sleeves richly flowered, was 
playing on the samtsen. On another a hunter, thrice the size 
of life, was killing a wild horse equally magnified, whose hide 
was represented by the hairy wrappings of the leaves of the 
Chamarops excelsa. On others highly -coloured gods, and 
devils equally hideous, were grouped miscellaneously. These 
two cars were being drawn up and down the street at the rate 
of a mile in three hours by 200 men each, numbers of men 
with levers assisting the heavy wheels out of the mud-holes. 
This matsuri, which, like an English fair, feast, or revel, has 
lost its original religious significance, goes on for three days 
and nights, and this was its third and greatest day. 

We left on mild-tempered horses, quite unlike the fierce 
fellows of Yamagata ken. Between Minato and Kado there is 
a very curious lagoon on the left, about 17 miles long by 16 
broad, connected with the sea by a narrow channel, guarded 
by two high hills called Shinzan and Honzan. Two Dutch 
engineers are now engaged in reporting on its capacities, and 
if its outlet could be deepened without enormous cost it would 
give north-western Japan the harbour it so greatly needs. 
Extensive rice -fields and many villages lie along the road, 
which is an avenue of deep sand and ancient pines much 
contorted and gnarled. Down the pine avenue hundreds of 
people on horseback and on foot were trooping into Minato 
from all the farming villages, glad in the glorious sunshine 
which succeeded four days of rain. There were hundreds of 


horses, wonderful-looking animals in bravery of scarlet cloth 
and lacquer and fringed nets of leather, and many straw wisps 
and ropes, with Gothic roofs for saddles, and dependent 
panniers on each side, carrying two grave and stately-looking 
children in each, and sometimes a father or a fifth child on 
the top of the pack-saddle. 

I was so far from well that I was obliged to sleep at the 
wretched village of Abukawa, in a loft alive with fleas, where 
the rice was too dirty to be eaten, and where the house- 
master's wife, who sat for an hour on my floor, was sorely 
afflicted with skin disease. The clay houses have disappeared 
and the villages are now built of wood, but Abukawa is an 
antiquated, ramshackle place, propped up with posts and 
slanting beams projecting into the roadway for the entangle- 
ment of unwary passengers. 

The village smith was opposite, but he was not a man of 
ponderous strength, nor were there those wondrous flights and 
scintillations of sparks which were the joy of our childhood in 
the Tattenhall forge. A fire of powdered charcoal on the floor, 
always being trimmed and replenished by a lean and grimy 
satellite, a man still leaner and grimier, clothed in goggles 
and a girdle, always sitting in front of it, heating and ham- 
mering iron bars with his hands, with a clink v:hich went on 
late into the night, and blowing his bellows with his toes ; bars 
and pieces of rusty iron pinned on the smoky walls, and a 
group of idle men watching his skilful manipulation, were the 
sights of the Abukawa smithy, and kept me thralled in the 
balcony, though the whole clothesless population stood for the 
whole evening in front of the house with a silent, open- 
mouthed stare. 

Early in the morning the same melancholy crowd appeared 
in the dismal drizzle, which turned into a tremendous torrent, 
which has lasted for sixteen hours. Low hills, broad rice valleys 
in which people are puddling the rice a second time to kill 
the weeds, bad roads, pretty villages, much indigo, few 
passengers, were the features of the day's journey. At 
Morioka and several other villages in this region I noticed 
that if you see one large, high, well-built house, standing in 
enclosed grounds, with a look of wealth about it, it is always 
that of the sakt brewer. A bush denotes the manufacture as 


well as the sale of sake, and these are of all sorts, from the 
mangy bit of fir which has seen long service to the vigorous 
truss of pine constantly renewed. It is curious that this 
should formerly have been the sign of the sale of wine in 

The wind and rain were something fearful all that after- 
noon. I could not ride, so I tramped on foot for some miles 
under an avenue of pines, through water a foot deep, and, with 
my paper waterproof soaked through, reached Toyoka half 
drowned and very cold, to shiver over a hibaehi in a clean loft, 
hung with my dripping clothes, which had to be put on wet the 
next day. By 5 A.M. all Toyoka assembled, and while I took 
my breakfast I was not only the " cynosure " of the eyes of all 
the people outside, but of those of about forty more who were 
standing in the doma, looking up the ladder. When asked to 
depart by the house-master, they said, " It's neither fair nor 
neighbourly in you to keep this great sight to yourself, seeing 
that our lives may pass without again looking on a foreign 
woman ;" so they were allowed to remain ! I. L. B, 



The Fatigues of Travelling Torrents and Mud Ito's Surliness The Blind 
Shampooers A Supposed Monkey Theatre A Suspended Ferry A 
Difficult Transit Perils on the Yonetsurugawa A Boatman Drowned 
Nocturnal Disturbances A Noisy Yadoya Storm-bound Travellers 
Hail Hail More Nocturnal Disturbances. 

ODAT&, July zg. 

I HAVE been suffering so much from my spine that I have 
been unable to travel more than seven or eight miles daily for 
several days, and even that with great difficulty. I try my own 
saddle, then a pack-saddle, then walk through the mud ; but 
I only get on because getting on is a necessity, and as soon as 
I reach the night's halting-place I am obliged to lie down at 
once. Only strong people should travel in northern Japan. 
The inevitable fatigue is much increased by the state of the 
weather, and doubtless my impressions of the country are 
affected by it also, as a hamlet in a quagmire in a gray mist or 
a soaking rain is a far less delectable object than the same 
hamlet under bright sunshine. There has not been such a 
season for thirty years. The rains have been tremendous. I 
have lived in soaked clothes, in spite of my rain-cloak, and 
have slept on a soaked stretcher in spite of all waterproof 
wrappings for several days, and still the weather shows no 
signs of improvement, and the rivers are so high on the 
northern road that I am storm-bound as well as pain-bound 
here. Ito shows his sympathy for me by intense surliness, 
though he did say very sensibly, " I'm very sorry for you, but 
it's no use saying so over and over again ; as I can do nothing 
for you, you'd better send for the blind man I" 

In Japanese towns and villages you hear every evening a 
man (or men) making a low peculiar whistle as he walks along, 
and in large towns the noise is quite a nuisance. It is made 


by blind men ; but a blind beggar is never seen throughout 
Japan, and the blind are an independent, respected, and well- 
to-do class, carrying on the occupations of shampooing, money- 
lending, and music. 

We have had a very severe journey from Toyoka. That 
day the rain was ceaseless, and in 
the driving mists one could see 
little but low hills looming on 
the horizon, pine barrens, scrub, 
and flooded rice-fields, varied by 
villages standing along roads which 
were quagmires a foot deep, and 
where the clothing was specially 
ragged and dirty. Hinokiyama, 
a village of samurai, on a beautiful 
slope, was an exception, with its 
fine detached houses, pretty gar- 
dens, deep-roofed gateways, grass 
and stone-faced terraces, and look 
of refined, quiet comfort. Every- 
where there was a quantity of in- 
digo, as is necessary, for nearly all 
the clothing of the lower classes is 
blue. Near a large village we were 
riding on a causeway through the 
rice-fields, Ito on the pack-horse 
in front, when we met a number 
of children returning from school, 
who, on getting near us, turned, ran 
away, and even jumped into the 
ditches, screaming as they ran. 

The mago ran after them, caught the hindmost boy, and dragged 
him back the boy scared and struggling, the man laughing. 
The boy said that they thought that Ito was a monkey-player, 
i.e. the keeper of a monkey theatre, I a big ape, and the poles 
of my bed the scaffolding of the stage ! 

Splashing through mire and water we found that the people 
of Tubing wished to detain us, saying that all the ferries were 

1 The cloak, hat, and figure are from a sketch of myself, but the face is a 
likeness of a young Japanese woman. 



stopped in consequence of the rise in the rivers ; but I had 
been so often misled by false reports that I took fresh horses 
and went on by a track along a very pretty hillside, over- 
looking the Yonetsurugawa, a large and swollen river, which 
nearer the sea had spread itself over the whole country. 
Torrents of rain were still falling, and all out-of-doors industries 
were suspended. Straw rain-cloaks hanging to dry dripped 
under all the eaves, our paper cloaks were sodden, our dripping 
horses steamed, and thus we slid down a steep descent into 
the hamlet of Kiriishi, thirty-one houses clustered under 
persimmon trees under a wooded hillside, all standing in a 
quagmire, and so abject and filthy that one could not ask for 
five minutes' shelter in any one of them. Sure enough, on 
the bank of the river, which was fully 400 yards wide, and 
swirling like a mill-stream with a suppressed roar, there was an 
official order prohibiting the crossing of man or beast, and 
before I had time to think the mago had deposited the 
baggage on an islet in the mire and was over the crest of 
the hill I wished that the Government was a little less 

Just in the nick of time we discerned a punt drifting down 
the river on the opposite side, where it brought up, and landed 
a man, and Ito and two others yelled, howled, and waved so 
lustily as to attract its notice, and to my joy an answering yell 
came across the roar and rush of the river. The torrent was 
so strong that the boatmen had to pole up on that side for 
half a mile, and in about three-quarters of an hour they reached 
our side. They were returning to Kotsunagi the very place 
I wished to reach but, though only 2^ miles off, the distance 
took nearly four hours of the hardest work I ever saw done by 
men. Every moment I expected to see them rupture blood- 
vessels or tendons. All their muscles quivered. It is a mighty 
river, and was from eight to twelve feet deep, and whirling 
down in muddy eddies ; and often with their utmost efforts in 
poling, when it seemed as if poles or backs must break, the 
boat hung trembling and stationary for three or four minutes 
at a time. After the slow and eventless tramp of the last few 
days this was an exciting transit. Higher up there was a 
flooded wood, and, getting into this, the men aided themselves 
considerably by hauling by the trees ; but when we got out of 


this, another river joined the Yonetsurugawa, which with added 
strength rushed and roared more wildly. 

I had long been watching a large house-boat far above us 
on the other side, which was being poled by desperate efforts 
by ten men. At that point she must have been half a mile 
off, when the stream overpowered the crew and in no time she 
swung round and came drifting wildly down and across the 
river, broadside on to us. We could not stir against the 
current, and had large trees on our immediate left, and for a 
moment it was a question whether she would not smash us to 
atoms. Ito was livid with fear ; his white, appalled face struck 
me as ludicrous, for I had no other thought than the imminent 
peril of the large boat with her freight of helpless families, 
when, just as she was within two feet of us, she struck a stem 
and glanced off. Then her crew grappled a headless trunk 
and got their hawser round it, and eight of them, one behind 
the other, hung on to it, when it suddenly snapped, seven fell 
backwards, and the forward one went overboard to be no more 
seen. Some house that night was desolate. Reeling down- 
wards, the big mast and spar of the ungainly craft caught in a 
tree, giving her such a check that they were able to make her 
fast It was a saddening incident. I asked Ito what he felt 
when we seemed in peril, and he replied, " I thought I'd 
been good to my mother, and honest, and I hoped I should 
go to a good place." 

The fashion of boats varies much on different rivers. On 
this one there are two sizes. Ours was a small one, flat- 
bottomed, 25 feet long by z\ broad, drawing 6 inches, very 
low in the water, and with sides slightly curved inwards. The 
prow forms a gradual long curve from the body of the boat, 
and is very high. 

The mists rolled away as dusk came on, and revealed a 
lovely country with much picturesqueness of form, and near 
Kotsunagi the river disappears into a narrow gorge with steep, 
sentinel hills, dark with pine and cryptomeria. To cross the 
river we had to go fully a mile above the point aimed at, and 
then a few minutes of express speed brought us to a landing 
in a deep, tough quagmire in a dark wood, through which we 
groped our lamentable way to the yadoya. A heavy mist came 
on, and the rain returned in torrents; the doma was ankle 


deep in black slush. The daidokoro was open to the roof, roof 
and rafters were black with smoke, and a great fire of damp 
wood was smoking lustily. Round some live embers in the 
irori fifteen men, women, and children were lying, doing 
nothing, by the dim light of an andon. It was picturesque 
decidedly, and I was well disposed to be content when the 
production of some handsome fusuma created daimtyo's rooms 
out of the farthest part of the dim and wandering space, 
opening upon a damp garden, into which the rain splashed all 

The solitary spoil of the day's journey was a glorious lily, 
which I presented to the house-master, and in the morning 
it was blooming on the kami-dana in a small vase of priceless 
old Satsuma china. I was awoke out of a sound sleep by 
Ito coming in with a rumour, brought by some travellers, that 
the Prime Minister had been assassinated, and fifty policemen 
killed ! [This was probably a distorted version of the partial 
mutiny of the Imperial Guard, which I learned on landing in 
Yezo.] Very wild political rumours are in the air in these 
outlandish regions, and it is not very wonderful that the 
peasantry lack confidence in the existing order of things after 
the changes of the last ten years, and the recent assassination 
of the Home Minister. I did not believe the rumour, for 
fanaticism, even in its wildest moods, usually owes some 
allegiance to common sense ; but it was disturbing, as I have 
naturally come to feel a deep interest in Japanese affairs. A 
few hours later Ito again presented himself with a bleeding cut 
on his temple. In lighting his pipe an odious nocturnal 
practice of the Japanese he had fallen over the edge of the 
fire-pot. I always sleep in a Japanese kimona to be ready for 
emergencies, and soon bound up his head, and slept again, to 
oe awoke early by another deluge. 

We made an early start, but got over very little ground, 
t>wing to bad roads and long delays. All day the rain came 
down in even torrents, the tracks were nearly impassable, my 
horse fell five times, I suffered severely from pain and 
exhaustion, and almost fell into despair about ever reaching 
the sea In these wild regions there are no kago or norimons 
to be had, and a pack-horse is the only conveyance, and 
yesterday, having abandoned my own saddle, I had the bad 


luck to get a pack-saddle with specially angular and uncom- 
promising peaks, with a soaked and extremely un washed futon 
on the top, spars, tackle, ridges, and furrows of the most 
exasperating description, and two nooses of rope to hold on 
by as the animal slid down hill on his haunches, or let me 
almost slide over his tail as he scrambled and plunged up hill. 

It was pretty country, even in the downpour, when white 
mists parted and fir-crowned heights looked out for a moment, 
or we slid down into a deep glen with mossy boulders, lichen- 
covered stumps, ferny carpet, and damp, balsamy smell of 
pyramidal cryptomeria, and a tawny torrent dashing through it 
in gusts of passion. Then there were low hills, much scrub, 
immense rice-fields, and violent inundations. But it is not 
pleasant, even in the prettiest country, to cling on to a pack- 
saddle with a saturated quilt below you and the water slowly 
soaking down through your wet clothes into your boots, 
knowing all the time that when you halt you must sleep on a 
wet bed, and change into damp clothes, and put on the wet 
ones again the next morning. The villages were poor, and 
most of the houses were of boards rudely nailed together for 
ends, and for sides straw rudely tied on ; they had no windows, 
and smoke came out of every crack. They were as unlike 
the houses which travellers see in southern Japan as a " black 
hut " in Uist is like a cottage in a trim village in Kent. These 
peasant proprietors have much to learn of the art of living. 
At Tsuguriko, the next stage, where the Transport Office was 
so dirty that I was obliged to sit in the street in the rain, they 
told us that we could only get on a ri farther, because the 
bridges were all carried away and the fords were impassable ; 
but I engaged horses, and, by dint of British doggedness and 
the willingness of the mago, I got the horses singly and with- 
out their loads in small punts across the swollen waters of the 
Hayakuchi, the Yuwas, and the Mochida, and finally forded 
three branches of my old friend the Yonetsurugawa, with the 
foam of its hurrying waters whitening the men's shoulders and 
the horses' packs, and with a hundred Japanese looking on at 
the " folly " of the foreigner. 

I like to tell you of kind people everywhere, and the two 
mago were specially so, for, when they found that I was pushing 
on to Yezo for fear of being laid up in the interior wilds, they 


did all they could to help me; lifted me gently from the 
horse, made steps of their backs for me to mount, and gathered 
for me handfuls of red berries, which I ate out of politeness, 
though they tasted of some nauseous drug. They suggested 
that I should stay at the picturesquely-situated old village of 
Kawaguchi, but everything about it was mildewed and green 
with damp, and the stench from the green and black ditches 
with which it abounded was so overpowering, even in passing 
through, that I was obliged to ride on to Odate", a crowded, 
forlorn, half-tumbling-to-pieces town of 8000 people, with 
bark roofs held down by stones. 

The yadoyas are crowded with storm-staid travellers, and 
I had a weary tramp from one to another, almost sinking from 
pain, pressed upon by an immense crowd, and frequently 
bothered by a policeman, who followed me from one place to 
the other, making wholly unrighteous demands for my pass- 
port at that most inopportune time. After a long search I 
could get nothing better than this room, with fusuma of tissue 
paper, in the centre of the din of the house, close to the doma 
and daidokoro. Fifty travellers, nearly all men, are here, 
mostly speaking at the top of their voices, and in a provincial 
jargon which exasperates Ito. Cooking, bathing, eating, and, 
worst of all, perpetual drawing water from a well with a 
creaking hoisting apparatus, are going on from 4.30 in the 
morning till 1 1.30 at night, and on both evenings noisy mirth, 
of alcoholic inspiration, and dissonant performances by geishas 
have added to the din. 

In all places lately Hai, "yes," has been pronounced 
HZ, Chi, Na, Nt t to Ito's great contempt It sounds like an 
expletive or interjection rather than a response, and seems 
used often as a sign of respect or attention only. Often it is 
loud and shrill, then guttural, at times little more than a sigh. 
In these yadoyas every sound is audible, and I hear low 
rumbling of mingled voices, and above all the sharp Hai, Hai 
of the tea-house girls in full chorus from every quarter of the 
house. The habit of saying it is so strong that a man roused 
out of sleep jumps up with Hai, Hai, and often, when I speak 
to Ito in English, a stupid Hebe sitting by answers Hai. 

I don't want to convey a false impression of the noise here. 
It would be at least three times as great were I in equally 


close proximity to a large hotel kitchen in England, with fifty 
Britons only separated from me by paper partitions. I had 
not been long in bed on Saturday night when I was awoke by 
Ito bringing in an old hen which he said he could stew till it 
was tender, and I fell asleep again with its dying squeak in 
my ears, to be awoke a second time by two policemen wanting 
for some occult reason to see my passport, and a third time 
by two men with lanterns scrambling and fumbling about the 
room for the strings of a mosquito net, which they wanted for 
another traveller. These are among the ludicrous incidents 
of Japanese travelling. About five Ito woke me by saying he 
was quite sure that the moxa would be the thing to cure my 
spine, and, as we were going to stay all day, he would go and 
fetch an operator; but I rejected this as emphatically as the 
services of the blind man ! Yesterday a man came and pasted 
slips of paper over all the " peep holes " in the shoji, and I 
have been very little annoyed, even though the yadoya is so 

The rain continues to come down in torrents, and rumours 
are hourly arriving of disasters to roads and bridges on the 
northern route. I. L, B. 



Good-tempered Intoxication The Effect of Sunshine A tedious Altercation 
Evening Occupations Noisy Talk Social Gatherings Unfair Com- 

SHIRASAWA, July 29. 

EARLY this morning the rain-clouds rolled themselves up and 
disappeared, and the bright blue sky looked as if it had been 
well washed I had to wait till noon before the rivers became 
fordable, and my day's journey is only seven miles, as it is not 
possible to go farther till more of the water runs off. We had 
very limp, melancholy horses, and my mago was half-tipsy, and 
sang, talked, and jumped the whole way. Sake is frequently 
taken warm, and in that state produces a very noisy but good- 
tempered intoxication. I have seen a good many intoxicated 
persons, but never one in the least degree quarrelsome ; and 
the effect very soon passes off, leaving, however, an unpleasant 
nausea for two or three days as a warning against excess. 
The abominable concoctions known under the names of beer, 
wine, and brandy, produce a bad-tempered and prolonged 
intoxication, and delirium tremens, rarely known as a result of 
sake drinking, is being introduced under their baleful influence. 
The sun shone gloriously and brightened the hill-girdled 
valley in which Odatd stands into positive beauty, with the 
narrow river flinging its bright waters over green and red 
shingle, lighting it up in glints among the conical hills, some 
richly wooded with conifera, and others merely covered with 
scrub, which were tumbled about in picturesque confusion. 
When Japan gets the sunshine, its forest-covered hills and 
garden-like valleys are turned into paradise In a journey of 
600 miles there has hardly been a patch of country which 
would not have been beautiful in sunlight 


We crossed five severe fords with the water half-way up the 
horses' bodies, in one of which the strong current carried my 
mago off his feet, and the horse towed him ashore, singing and 
capering, his drunken glee nothing abated by his cold bath. 
Everything is in a state of wreck. -Several river channels have 
been formed in places where there was only one ; there is not 
a trace of the road for a considerable distance, not a bridge 
exists for ten miles, and a great tract of country is covered with 
boulders, uprooted trees, and logs floated from the mountain 
sides. Already, however, these industrious peasants are driving 
piles, carrying soil for embankments in creels on horses' backs, 
and making ropes of stones to prevent a recurrence of the 
calamity. About here the female peasants wear for field-work 
a dress which pleases me much by its suitability light blue 
trousers, with a loose sack over them, confined at the waist by 
a girdle. 

On arriving here in much j)ain, and knowing that the road 
was not open any farther, I was annoyed by a long and angry 
conversation between the house -master and Ito, during which 
the horses were not unloaded, and the upshot of it was that 
the man declined to give me shelter, saying that the police had 
been round the week before giving notice that no foreigner 
was to be received without first communicating with the 
nearest police station, which, in this instance, is three hours 
off. I said that the authorities of Akita ken could not by any 
local regulations override the Imperial edict under which pass- 
ports are issued; but he said he should be liable to a fine and 
the withdrawal of his license if he violated the rule. No 
foreigner, he said, had ever lodged in Shirasawa, and I have 
no doubt that he added that he hoped no foreigner would ever 
seek lodgings again. My passport was copied and sent off by 
special runner, as I should have deeply regretted bringing 
trouble on the poor man by insisting on my rights, and in 
much trepidation he gave me a room open on one side to the 
village, and on another to a pond, over which, as if to court 
mosquitoes, it is partially built I cannot think how the 
Japanese can regard a hole full of dirty water as an orna- 
mental appendage to a house. 

My hotel expenses (including Ito's) are less than 33. a-day, 
and in nearly every place there has been a cordial desire that 


I should be comfortable, and, considering that I have often put 
up in small, rough hamlets off the great routes even of Japanese 
travel, the accommodation, minus the fleas and the odours, has 
been surprisingly excellent, not to be equalled, I should think, 
in equally remote regions in -any country in the world. 

This evening, here, as in thousands of other villages, the 
men came home from their work, ate their food, took their 
smoke, enjoyed their children, carried them about, watched 
their games, twisted straw ropes, made straw sandals, split 
bamboo, wove straw rain-coats, and spent the time universally 
in those little economical ingenuities and skilful adaptations 
which our people (the worse for them) practise perhaps less 
than any other. There was no assembling at the sake shop. 
Poor though the homes are, the men enjoy them ; the children 
are an attraction at any rate, and the brawling and disobedience 
which often turn our working-class homes into bear-gardens 
are unknown here, where docility and obedience are inculcated 
from the cradle as a matter of course. The signs of religion 
become fewer as I travel north, and it appears that the little 
faith which exists consists mainly in a belief in certain charms 
and superstitions, which the priests industriously foster. 

A low voice is not regarded as " a most excellent thing," 
in man at least, among the lower classes in Japan. The 
people speak at the top of their voices, and, though most words 
and syllables end in vowels, the general effect of a conversation 
is like the discordant gabble of a farm-yard. The next room 
to mine is full of storm-bound travellers, and they and the 
house-master kept up what I thought was a most important 
argument for four hours at the top of their voices. I sup- 
posed it must be on the new and important ordinance granting 
local elective assemblies, of which I heard at Odate", but on 
inquiry found that it was possible to spend four mortal hours 
in discussing whether the day's journey from Odat to Noshiro 
could be made best by road or river. 

Japanese women have their own gatherings, where gossip 
and chit-chat, marked by a truly Oriental indecorum of speech, 
are the staple of talk. I think that in many things, specially 
in some which lie on the surface, the Japanese are greatly our 
superiors, but that in many others they are immeasurably 
behind us. In living altogether among this courteous, Indus- 


trious, and civilised people, one comes to forget that one is 
doing them a gross injustice in comparing their manners and 
ways with those of a people moulded by many centuries of 
Christianity. Would to God that we were so Christianised 
that the comparison might always be favourable to us, which 
it is not ! 

July 30. In the room on the other side of mine were two 
men with severe eye-disease, with shaven heads and long and 
curious rosaries, who beat small drums as they walked, and 
were on pilgrimage to the shrine of Fudo at Megura, near 
Yedo, a seated, flame-surrounded idol, with a naked sword in 
one hand and a coil of rope in the other, who has the reputa- 
tion of giving sight to the blind. At five this morning they 
began their devotions, which consisted in repeating with great 
rapidity, and in a high monotonous key for two hours, the 
invocation of the Nichiren sect of Buddhists, Namu miyo hd 
ren ge Kiyd, which certainly no Japanese understands, and on 
the meaning of which even the best scholars are divided ; one 
having given me, " Glory to the salvation-bringing Scriptures ;" 
another, "Hail, precious law and gospel of the lotus flower;" 
and a third, " Heaven and earth ! The teachings of the 
wonderful lotus flower sect" Namu amidu Butsu occurred at 
intervals, and two drums were beaten the whole time ! 

The rain, which began again at eleven last night, fell from 
five till eight this morning, not in drops, but in streams, and 
in the middle of it a heavy pall of blackness (said to be a 
total eclipse) enfolded all things in a lurid gloom. Any 
detention is exasperating within one day of my journey's end, 
and I hear without equanimity that there are great difficulties 
ahead, and that our getting through in three or even four days 
is doubtful I hope you will not be tired of the monotony of 
my letters. Such as they are, they represent the scenes which 
a traveller would see throughout much of northern Japan, and 
whatever interest they have consists in the fact that they are a 
faithful representation, made upon the spot, of what a foreigner 
sees and hears in travelling through a large but unfrequented 
region. I. L. B. 



Torrents of Rain An unpleasant Detention Devastations produced by 
Floods The Yadate Pass The Force of Water Difficulties thicken 
A Primitive Yadoya The Water rises. 


THE prophecies concerning difficulties are fulfilled. For six 
days and five nights the rain has never ceased, except for a 
few hours at a time, and for the last thirteen hours, as during 
the eclipse at Shirasawa, it has been falling in such sheets as 
I have only seen for a few minutes at a time on the equator. 
I have been here storm-staid for two days, with damp bed, 
damp clothes, damp everything, and boots, bag, books, are 
all green with mildew. And still the rain falls, and roads, 
bridges, rice-fields, trees, and hillsides are being swept in a 
common ruin towards the Tsugaru Strait, so tantalisingly near; 
and the simple people are calling on the forgotten gods of the 
rivers and the hills, on the sun and moon, and all the host of 
heaven, to save them from this " plague of immoderate rain 
and waters." For myself, to be able to lie down all day is 
something, and as "the mind, when in a healthy state, reposes 
as quietly before an insurmountable difficulty as before an 
ascertained truth," so, as I cannot get on, I have ceased to 
chafe, and am rather inclined to magnify the advantages of 
the detention, a necessary process, as you would think if you 
saw my surroundings ! 

The day before yesterday, in spite of severe pain, was one 
of the most interesting of my journey. As I learned some- 
thing of the force of fire in Hawaii, I am learning not a little 
of the force of water in Japan. We left Shirasawa at noon, 
as it looked likely to clear, taking two horses and three men. 
It is beautiful scenery a wild valley, upon which a number 
of lateral ridges descend, rendered strikingly picturesque by 


the dark pyramidal cryptomeria, which are truly the glory of 
Japan. Five of the fords were deep and rapid, and the en- 
trance on them difficult, as the sloping descents were all 
carried away, leaving steep banks, which had to be levelled 
by the mattocks of the mago. Then the fords themselves 
were gone ; there were shallows where there had been depths, 
and depths where there had been shallows ; new channels 
were carved, and great beds of shingle had been thrown 
up. Much wreckage lay about. The road and its small 
bridges were all gone, trees torn up by the roots or snapped 
short off by being struck by heavy logs were heaped together 
like barricades, leaves and even bark being in many cases 
stripped completely off; great logs floated down the river in 
such numbers and with such force that we had to wait half 
an hour in one place to secure a safe crossing ; hollows were 
filled with liquid mud, boulders of great size were piled into 
embankments, causing perilous alterations in the course of the 
river ; a fertile valley had been utterly destroyed, and the men 
said they could hardly find their way. 

At the end of five miles it became impassable for horses, 
and, with two of the mago carrying the baggage, we set off, 
wading through water and climbing along the side of a hill, 
up to our knees in soft wet soil. The hillside and the road 
were both gone, and there were heavy landslips along the 
whole valley. Happily there was not much of this exhausting 
work, for, just as higher and darker ranges, densely wooded 
with cryptomeria, began to close us in, we emerged upon a fine 
new road, broad enough for a carriage, which, after crossing 
two ravines on fine bridges, plunges into the depths of a 
magnificent forest, and then by a long series of fine zigzags 
of easy gradients ascends the pass of Yadate, on the top of 
which, in a deep sandstone cutting, is a handsome obelisk 
marking the boundary between Akita and Aomori ken. This 
is a marvellous road for Japan, it is so well graded and built 
up, and logs for travellers' rests are placed at convenient 
distances. Some very heavy work in grading and blasting 
has been done upon it, but there are only four miles of it, with 
wretched bridle tracks at each end. I left the others behind, 
and strolled on alone over the top of the pass and down the 
other side, where the road is blasted out of rock of a vivid 

LBTTBB xxviii.] LANDSLIPS. 189 

pink and green colour, looking brilliant under the trickle of 
water. I admire this pass more than anything I have seen in 
Japan ; I even long to see it again, but under a bright blue 
sky. It reminds me much of the finest part of the Brunig 
Pass, and something of some of the passes in the Rocky 
Mountains, but the trees are far finer than in either. It was 
lonely, stately, dark, solemn ; its huge cryptomeria, straight 
as masts, sent their tall spires far aloft in search of light ; the 
ferns, which love damp and shady places, were the only under- 
growth ; the trees flung their balsamy, aromatic scent liberally 
upon the air, and, in the unlighted depths of many a ravine and 
hollow, clear bright torrents leapt and tumbled, drowning with 
their thundering bass the musical treble of the lighter streams. 
Not a traveller disturbed the solitude with his sandalled foot- 
fall ; there was neither song of bird nor hum of insect. 

In the midst of this sublime scenery, and at the very top 
of the pass, the rain, which had been light but steady during 
the whole day, began to come down in streams and then in 
sheets. I have been so rained upon for weeks that at first I 
took little notice of it, but very soon changes occurred before 
my eyes which concentrated my attention upon it. The rush 
of waters was heard everywhere, trees of great size slid down, 
breaking others in their fall ; rocks were rent and carried 
away trees in their descent, the waters rose before our eyes ; 
with a boom and roar as of an earthquake a hillside burst, 
and half the hill, with a noble forest of cryptomeria, was pro- 
jected outwards, and the trees, with the land on which they 
grew, went down heads foremost, diverting a river from its 
course, and where the forest-covered hillside had been there 
was a great scar, out of which a tonent burst at high pressure, 
which in half an hour carved for itself a deep ravine, and 
carried into the valley below an avalanche of stones and sand. 
Another hillside descended less abruptly, and its noble groves 
found themselves at the bottom in a perpendicular position, 
and will doubtless survive their transplantation. Actually, 
before my eyes, this fine new road was torn away by hastily 
improvised torrents, or blocked by landslips in several places, 
and a little lower, in one moment, a hundred yards of it dis- 
appeared, and with them a fine bridge, which was deposited 
aslant across the torrent lower down. 


On the descent, when things began to look very bad, and 
the mountain-sides had become cascades bringing trees, logs, 
and rocks down with them, we were fortunate enough to meet 
with two pack-horses whose leaders were ignorant of the im- 
passability of the road to Odate, and they and my coolies 
exchanged loads. These were strong horses, and the mago 
were skilful and courageous. They said if we hurried we 
could just get to the hamlet they had left, they thought ; but 
while they spoke the road and the bridge below were carried 
away. They insisted on lashing me to the pack-saddle. The 
great stream, whose beauty I had formerly admired, was now 
a thing of dread, and had to be forded four times without 
fords. It crashed and thundered, drowning the feeble sound 
of human voices, the torrents from the heavens hissed through 
the forest, trees and logs came crashing down the hillsides, a 
thousand cascades added to the din, and in the bewilderment 
produced by such an unusual concatenation of sights and 
sounds we stumbled through the river, the men up to their 
shoulders, the horses up to their backs. Again and again we 
crossed. The banks being carried away, it was very hard to 
get either into or out of the water ; the horses had to scramble 
or jump up places as high as their shoulders, all slippery and 
crumbling, and twice the men cut steps for them with axes. 
The rush of the torrent at the last crossing taxed the strength 
of both men and horses, and, as I was helpless from being tied 
on, I confess that I shut my eyes ! After getting through, we 
came upon the lands belonging to this village rice-fields with 
the dykes burst, and all the beautiful ridge and furrow culti- 
vation of the other crops carried away. The waters were 
rising fast, the men said we must hurry ; they unbound me, 
so that I might ride more comfortably, spoke to the horses, 
and went on at a run. My horse, which had nearly worn out 
his shoes in the fords, stumbled at every step, the mago gave 
me a noose of rope to clutch, the rain fell in such torrents 
that I speculated on the chance of being washed off my 
saddle, when suddenly I saw a shower of sparks ; I felt un- 
utterable things ; I was choked, bruised, stifled, and presently 
found myself being hauled out of a ditch by three men, and 
realised that the horse had tumbled down in going down a 
steepish hill, and that I had gone over his head. To climb 


again on the soaked futon was the work of a moment, and, with 
men running and horses stumbling and splashing, we crossed 
the Hirakawa by one fine bridge, and half a mile farther re- 
crossed it on another, wishing as we did so that all Japanese 
bridges were as substantial, for they were both zoo feet long, 
and had central piers. 

We entered Ikarigaseki from the last bridge, a village of 
800 people, on a narrow ledge between an abrupt hill and the 
Hirakawa, a most forlorn and tumble-down place, given up to 
felling timber and making shingles ; and timber in all its forms 
logs, planks, faggots, and shingles is heaped and stalked 
about. It looks more like a lumberer's encampment than a 
permanent village, but it is beautifully situated, and unlike any 
of the innumerable villages that I have ever seen. 

The street is long and narrow, with streams in stone 
channels on either side ; but these had overflowed, and men, 
women, and children were constructing square dams to keep 
the water, which had already reached the doma, from rising 
over the tatami. Hardly any house has paper windows, and 
in the few which have, they are so black with smoke as to 
look worse than none. The roofs are nearly flat, and are 
covered with shingles held on by laths and weighted with 
large stones. Nearly all the houses look like temporary sheds, 
and most are as black inside as a Barra hut. The walls of 
many are nothing but rough boards tied to the uprights by 
straw ropes. 

In the drowning torrent, sitting in puddles of water, and 
drenched to the skin hours before, we reached this very 
primitive yadoya, the lower part of which is occupied by the 
daidokoro^ a party of storm-bound students, horses, fowls, and 
dogs. My room is a wretched loft, reached by a ladder, with 
such a quagmire at its foot that I have to descend into it in 
Wellington boots. It was dismally grotesque at first. The 
torrent on the unceiled roof prevented Ito from hearing what 
I said, the bed was soaked, and the water, having got into my 
box, had dissolved the remains of the condensed milk, and had 
reduced clothes, books, and paper into a condition of universal 
stickiness. My kimono was less wet than anything else, and, 
borrowing a sheet of oiled paper, I lay down in it, till roused 
up in half an hour by Ito shrieking above the din on the roof 


that the people thought that the bridge by which we had just 
entered would give way ; and, running to the river bank, we 
joined a large crowd, far too intensely occupied by the coming 
disaster to take any notice of the first foreign lady they had ever 

The Hirakawa, which an hour before was merely a clear, 
rapid mountain stream, about four feet deep, was then ten feet 
deep, they said, and tearing along, thick and muddy, and with 
a fearful roar, 

" And each wave was crested with tawny foam, 
Like the mane of a chestnut steed." 

Immense logs of hewn timber, trees, roots, branches, and 
faggots, were coming down in numbers. The abutment on 
this side was much undermined, but, except that the central 
pier trembled whenever a log struck it, the bridge itself stood 
firm so firm, indeed, that two men, anxious to save some 
property on the other side, crossed it after I arrived. Then 
logs of planed timber of large size, and joints, and much 
wreckage, came down fully forty fine timbers, thirty feet long, 
for the fine bridge above had given way. Most of the harvest 
of logs cut on the Yadate Pass must have been lost, for over 
300 were carried down in the short time in which 1 watched 
the river. This is a very heavy loss to this village, which lives 
by the timber trade. Efforts were made at a bank higher up 
to catch them as they drifted by, but they only saved about 
one in twenty. It was most exciting to see the grand way in 
which these timbers came down ; and the moment in which 
they were to strike or not to strike the pier was one of intense 
suspense. After an hour of this two superb logs, fully thirty 
feet long, came down dose together, and, striking the central 
pier nearly simultaneously, it shuddered horribly, the great 
bridge parted in the middle, gave an awful groan like a living 
thing, plunged into the torrent, and re-appeared in the foam 
below only as disjointed timbers hurrying to the sea. Not a 
vestige remained The bridge below was carried away in the 
morning, so, till the river becomes fordable, this little place is 
completely isolated. On thirty miles of road, out of nineteen 
bridges only two remain, and the road itself is almost wholly 
carried away ! 


LETTER XXVIII. (Continued.) 

Scanty Resources Japanese Children Children's Games A Sagacious 
Example A Kite Competition Personal Privations. 


I HAVE well-nigh exhausted the resources of this place. They 
are to go out three times a day to see how much the river 
has fallen ; to talk with the house-master and Kocho; to watch 
the children's games and the making of shingles ; to buy toys 
and sweetmeats and give them away ; to apply zinc lotion to 
a number of sore eyes three times daily, under which treatment, 
during three days, there has been a wonderful amendment ; to 
watch the cooking, spinning, and other domestic processes in 
the daidokoro ; to see the horses, which are also actually in it, 
making meals of green leaves of trees instead of hay ; to see 
the lepers, who are here for some waters which are supposed 
to arrest, if not to cure, their terrible malady ; to lie on my 
stretcher and sew, and read the papers of the Asiatic Society, 
and to go over all possible routes to Aomori. The people 
have become very friendly in consequence of the eye lotion, 
and bring many diseases for my inspection, most of which 
would never have arisen had cleanliness of clothing and person 
been attended to. The absence of soap, the infrequency with 
which clothing is washed, and the absence of linen next the 
skin, cause various cutaneous diseases, which are aggravated 
by the bites and stings of insects. Scald-head affects nearly 
half the children here. 

I am very fond of Japanese children. I have never yet 
heard a baby cry, and I have never seen a child troublesome 
or disobedient Filial piety is the leading virtue in Japan, 
and unquestioning obedience is the habit of centuries. The 
arts and threats by which English mothers cajole or frighten 


children into unwilling obedience appear unknown. I admire 
the way in which children are taught to be independent in 
their amusements. Part of the home education is the learning 
of the rules of the different games, which are absolute, and 
when there is a doubt, instead of a quarrelsome suspension of 
the game, the fiat of a senior child decides the matter. They 
play by themselves, and don't bother adults at every turn. I 
usually carry sweeties with me, and give them to the children, 
but not one has ever received them without first obtaining 
permission from the father or mother. When that is gained 
they smile and bow profoundly, and hand the sweeties to 
those present before eating any themselves. They are gentle 
creatures, but too formal and precocious. 

They have no special dress. This is so queer that I can- 
not repeat it too often. At three they put on the kimono and 
girdle, which are as inconvenient to them as to their parents, 
and childish play in this garb is grotesque. I have, however, 
never seen what we call child's play that general abandonment 
to miscellaneous impulses, which consists in struggling, slapping, 
rolling, jumping, kicking, shouting, laughing, and quarrelling ! 

Two fine boys are very clever in harnessing paper carts to 
the backs of beetles with gummed traces, so that eight of them 
draw a load of rice up an inclined plane. You can imagine 
what the fate of such a load and team would be at home 
among a number of snatching hands. Here a number of 
infants watch the performance with motionless interest, and 
never need the adjuration, " Don't touch." In most of the 
houses there are bamboo cages for "the shrill-voiced Katydid," 
and the children amuse themselves with feeding these vociferous 
grasshoppers. The channels of swift water in the street turn 
a number of toy water-wheels, which set in motion most 
ingenious mechanical toys, of which a model of the automatic 
rice-husker is the commonest, and the boys spend much time 
in devising and watching these, which are really very fascinating. 
It is the holidays, but " holiday tasks " are given, and in the 
evenings you hear the hum of lessons all along the street for 
about an hour. The school examination is at the re-opening 
of the school after the holidays, instead of at the end of the 
session an arrangement which shows an honest desire to 
discern the permanent gain made by the scholars 


This afternoon has been fine and windy, and the boys have 
been flying kites, made of tough paper on a bamboo frame, all 
of a rectangular shape, some of them five feet square, and 
nearly all decorated with huge faces of historical heroes. 
Some of them have a humming arrangement made of whale- 
bone. There was a very interesting contest between two 
great kites, and it brought out the whole population. The 
string of each kite, for 30 feet or more below the frame, was 
covered with pounded glass, made to adhere vr.y closely by 
means of tenacious glue, and for two hours the kite-fighters 
tried to get their kites into a proper position for sawing the 
adversary's string in two. At last one was successful, and the 
severed kite became his property, upon which victor and 
vanquished exchanged three low bows. Silently as the people 
watched and received the destruction of their bridge, so silently 
they watched this exciting contest. The boys also flew their 
kites while walking on stilts a most dexterous performance, in 
which few were able to take part and then a larger number 
gave a stilt race. The most striking out-of-door games are 
played at fixed seasons of the year, and are not to be seen 

There are twelve children in this yadoya, and after dark 
they regularly play at a game which Ito says " is played in the 
winter in every house in Japan." The children sit in a circle, 
and the adults look on eagerly, child -worship being more 
common in Japan than in America, and, to my thinking, the 
Japanese form is the best. 

From proverbial philosophy to personal privation is rather 
a descent, but owing to the many detentions on the journey 
my small stock of foreign food is exhausted, and I have been 
living here on rice, cucumbers, and salt salmon so salt that, 
after being boiled in two waters, it produces a most distressing 
thirst. Even this has failed to-day, as communication with 
the coast has been stopped for some time, and the village is 
suffering under the calamity of its stock of salt -fish being 
completely exhausted. There are no eggs, and rice and 
cucumbers are very like the " light food " which the Israelites 
" loathed." I had an omelette one day, but it was much like 
musty leather. The Italian minister said to me in Tokiyo, 
" No question in Japan is so solemn as that of food," and 


many others echoed what I thought at the time a most 
unworthy sentiment. I recognised its truth to-day when I 
opened my last resort, a box of Brand's meat lozenges, and 
found them a mass of mouldiness. One can only dry clothes 
here by hanging them in the wood smoke, so I prefer to let 
them mildew on the walls, and have bought a straw rain-coat, 
which is more reliable than the paper waterproofs. I hear the 
hum of the children at their lessons for the last time, for the 
waters are falling fast, and we shall leave in the morning. 

I. L. B. 



Hope deferred Effects of the Flood Activity of the Police A Ramble In 
Disguise The Tanabata Festival Mr. Satow's Reputation. 

KUROISHI, August 5. 

AFTER all the waters did not fall as was expected, and I had 
to spend a fourth day at Ikarigaseki. We left early on 
Saturday, as we had to travel fifteen miles without halting. 
The sun shone on all the beautiful country, and on all the 
wieck and devastation, as it often shines on the dimpling 
ocean the day after a storm. We took four men, crossed two 
severe fords where bridges had been carried away, and where 
I and the baggage got very wet ; saw great devastations and 
much loss of crops and felled timber ; passed under a cliff, 
which for 200 feet was composed of fine columnar basalt in 
six-sided prisms, and quite suddenly emerged on a great plain, 
on which green billows of rice were rolling sunlit before a fresh 
north wind. This plain is liberally sprinkled with wooded 
villages and surrounded by hills ; one low range forming a 
curtain across the base of Iwakisan, a great snow-streaked 
dome, which rises to the west of the plain to a supposed 
height of 5000 feet. The water had risen in most of the 
villages to a height of four feet, and had washed the lower part 
of the mud walls away. The people were busy drying their 
tatami, futons, and clothing, reconstructing their dykes and 
small bridges, and fishing for the logs which were still coming 
down in large quantities. 

In one town two very shabby policemen rushed upon us, 
seized the bridle of my horse, and kept me waiting for a long 
time in the middle of a crowd, while they toilsomely bored 
through the passport, turning it up and down, and holding it 


up to the light, as though there were some nefarious mystery 
about it. My horse stumbled so badly that I was obliged to 
walk to save myself from another fall, and, just as my powers 
were failing, we met a kuruma, which by good management, 
such as being carried occasionally, brought me into Kuroishi, 
a neat town of 5500 people, famous for the making of clogs 
and combs, where I have obtained a very neat, airy, upstairs 
room, with a good view over the surrounding country and of 
the doings of my neighbours in their back rooms and gardens. 
Instead of getting on to Aomori I am spending three days 
and two nights here, and, as the weather has improved and 
my room is remarkably cheerful, the rest has been very 
pleasant. As I have said before, it is difficult to get any 
information about anything even a few miles off, and even at 
the Post Office they cannot give any intelligence as to the date 
of the sailings of the mail steamer between Aomori, twenty 
miles off, and Hakodate*. 

The police were not satisfied with seeing my passport, 
but must also see me, and four of them paid me a polite but 
domiciliary visit the evening of my arrival. That evening the 
sound of drumming was ceaseless, and soon after I was in bed 
Ito announced that there was something really worth seeing, 
so I went out in my kimono and without my hat, and in 
this disguise altogether escaped recognition as a foreigner. 
Kuroishi is unlighted, and I was tumbling and stumbling 
along in overhaste when a strong arm cleared the way, and 
the house-master appeared with a very pretty lantern, hanging 
close to the ground from a cane held in the hand. Thus 
came the phrase, " Thy word is a light unto my feet." 

We soon reached a point for seeing the festival procession 
advance towards us, and it was so beautiful and picturesque 
that it kept me out for an hour. It passes through all the 
streets between 7 and 10 P.M. each night during the first 
week in August, with an ark, or coffer, containing slips of 
paper, on which (as I understand) wishes are written, and 
each morning at seven this is carried to the river and the 
slips are cast upon the stream. The procession consisted of 
three monster drums nearly the height of a man's body, covered 
with horsehide, and strapped to the drummers, end upwards, 
and thirty small drums, all beaten rub-a-dub-dub without 


ceasing. Each drum has the tomoye painted on its ends. 
Then there were hundreds of paper lanterns carried on long 
poles of various lengths round a central lantern, 20 feet high, 
itself an oblong 6 feet long, with a front and wings, and all 
kinds of mythical and mystical creatures painted in bright 
colours upon it a transparency rather than a lantern, in fact. 
Surrounding it were hundreds of beautiful lanterns and trans- 
parencies of all sorts of fanciful shapes fans, fishes, birds, 
kites, drums ; the hundreds of people and children who 
followed all carried circular lanterns, and rows of lanterns with 
the tomoye on one side and two Chinese characters on the 
other hung from the eaves all along the line of the procession. 
I never saw anything more completely like a fairy scene, the 
undulating waves of lanterns as they swayed along, the soft 
lights and soft tints moving aloft in the darkness, the lantern- 
bearers being in deep shadow. This festival is called the 
tanabata y or seiseki festival, but I am unable to get any in- 
formation about it. Ito says that he knows what it means, 
but is unable to explain, and adds the phrase he always uses 
when in difficulties, " Mr. Satow would be able to tell you 
all about it." I. L. B. 



A Lady's Toilet Hair-dressing Paint and Cosmetics Afternoon Visitors 
Christian Converts. 

KUROISHI, August 5. 

THIS is a pleasant place, and my room has many advantages 
besides light and cleanliness, as, for instance, that I overlook 
my neighbours and that I have seen a lady at her toilet pre- 
paring for a wedding ! A married girl knelt in front of a 
black lacquer toilet-box with a spray of cherry blossoms in 
gold sprawling over it, and lacquer uprights at the top, which 
supported a polished metal mirror. Several drawers in the 
toilet-box were open, and toilet requisites in small lacquer 
boxes were lying on the floor. A female barber stood behind 
the lady, combing, dividing, and tying her hair, which, like 
that of all Japanese women, was glossy black, but neither 
fine nor long. The coiffure is an erection, a complete work of 
art. Two divisions, three inches apart, were made along 
the top of the head, and the lock of hair between these was 
combed, stiffened with a bandoline made from the Uvario 
Japonica, raised two inches from the forehead, turned back, 
tied, and pinned to the back hair. The rest was combed from 
each side to the back, and then tied loosely with twine made 
of paper. Several switches of false hair were then taken out of 
a long lacquer box, and, with the aid of a quantity of bandoline 
and a solid pad, the ordinary smooth chignon was produced, 
to which several loops and bows of hair were added, inter- 
woven with a little dark-blue crtye, spangled with gold. A 
single, thick, square-sided, tortoiseshell pin was stuck through 
the whole as an ornament 

The fashions of dressing the hair are fixed. They vary 
with the ages of female children, and there is a slight difference 


between the coiffure of the married and unmarried, '('he two 
partings on the top of the head and the chignon never vary. 
The amount of stiffening used is necessary, as the head is 
never covered out of doors. This arrangement will last in 
good order for a week or more thanks to the wooden pillow. 
The barber's work was only partially done when the hair 
was dressed, for every vestige of recalcitrant eyebrow was re- 


moved, and every downy hair which dared to display itself on 
the temples and neck was pulled out with tweezers. This 
removal of all short hair has a tendency to make even the 
natural hair look like a wig. Then the lady herself took a 
box of white powder, and laid it on her face, ears, and neck, 
till her skin looked like a mask. With a camel's-hair brush 
she then applied some mixture to her eyelids to make the 
bright eyes look brighter, the teeth were blackened, or rather 
reblackened, with a feather brush dipped in a solution of gall- 

H 2 


nuts and iron-filings a tiresome and disgusting process, 
several times repeated, and then a patch of red was placed 
upon the lower lip. I cannot say that the effect was pleasing, 
but the girl thought so, for she turned her head so as to see 
the general effect in the mirror, smiled, and was satisfied. 
The remainder of her toilet, which altogether took over three 
hours, was performed in private, and when she reappeared 
she looked as if a very unmeaning-looking wooden doll had 
been dressed up with the exquisite good taste, harmony, and 
quietness which characterise the dress of Japanese women. 

A most rigid social etiquette draws an impassable line of 
demarcation between the costume of the virtuous woman in 
every rank and that of her frail sister. The humiliating truth 
that many of our female fashions are originated by those 
whose position we the most regret, and are then carefully copied 
by all classes of women in our country, does not obtain 
credence among Japanese women, to whom even the slightest 
approximation in the style of hair -dressing, ornament, or 
fashion of garments would be a shame. 

I was surprised to hear that three " Christian students " 
from Hirosaki wished to see me three remarkably intelligent- 
looking, handsomely -dressed young men, who all spoke a 
little English. One of them had the brightest and most 
intellectual face which I have seen in Japan. They are of the 
samurai class, as I should have known from the superior type 
of face and manner. They said that they heard that an 
English lady was in the house, and asked me if I were a 
Christian, but apparently were not satisfied till, in answer to 
the question if I had a Bible, I was able to produce one. 

Hirosaki is a castle town of some importance, 3^ ri from 
here, and its ox-daimiyd supports a high-class school or college 
there, which has had two Americans successively for its head- 
masters. These gentlemen must have been very consistent 
in Christian living as well as energetic in Christian teaching, 
for under their auspices thirty young men have embraced 
Christianity. As all of these are well educated, and several 
are nearly ready to pass as teachers into Government employ- 
ment, their acceptance of the "new way" may have an 
important bearing on the future of this region. 

I. L. B. 



A Travelling Curiosity Rude Dwellings Primitive Simplicity The Public 


YESTERDAY was beautiful, and, dispensing for the first time 
with Ito's attendance, I took a kuruma for the day, and had a 
very pleasant excursion into a cul de sac in the mountains. 
The one drawback was the infamous road, which compelled 
me either to walk or be mercilessly jolted. The runner was a 
nice, kind, merry creature, quite delighted, Ito said, to have a 
chance of carrying so great a sight as a foreigner into a district 
in which no foreigner has even been seen. In the absolute 
security of Japanese travelling, which I have fully realised for 
a long time, I look back upon my fears at Kasukabe" with a 
feeling of self-contempt. 

The scenery, which was extremely pretty, gained every- 
thing from sunlight and colour wonderful shades of cobalt 
and indigo, green blues and blue greens, and flashes of white 
foam in unsuspected rifts. It looked a simple, home -like 
region, a very pleasant land. 

We passed through several villages of farmers who live in 
very primitive habitations, built of mud, looking as if the mud 
had been dabbed upon the framework with the hands. The 
walls sloped slightly inwards, the thatch was rude, the eaves 
were deep and covered all manner of lumber; there was a 
smoke-hole in a few, but the majority smoked all over like 
brick-kilns ; they had no windows, and the walls and rafters 
were black and shiny. Fowls and horses live on one side of 
the dark interior, and the people on the other. The houses 
were alive with unclothed children, and as I repassed in the 
evening unclothed men and women, nude to their waists, were 


sitting outside their dwellings with the small fry, clothed only 
in amulets, about them, several big yellow dogs forming part 
of each family group, and the faces of dogs, children, and 
people were all placidly contented! These farmers owned 
many good horses, and their crops were splendid. Probably 
on matsuri days all appear in fine clothes taken from ample 


hoards. They cannot be so poor, as far as the necessaries of 
life are concerned; they are only very " far back." They know 
nothing better, and are contented; but their houses are as bad 
as any that I have ever seen, and the simplicity of Eden is 
( ombined with an amount of dirt which makes me sceptical as 
to the performance of even weekly ablutions. 

Upper Nakano is very beautiful, and in the autumn, when 
its myriads of star-leaved maples are scarlet and crimson, 
against a dark background of cryptomeria, among which a 


great white waterfall gleams like a snow-drift before it leaps 
into the black pool below, it must be well worth a long journey. 
I have not seen anything which has pleased me more. There 
is a fine flight of moss-grown stone steps down to the water, a 
pretty bridge, two superb stone torii, some handsome stone 
lanterns, and then a grand flight of steep stone steps up a hill- 
side dark with cryptomeria leads to a small Shinto shrine. 
Not far off there is a sacred tree, with the token of love and 
revenge upon it. The whole place is entrancing. 

Lower Nakano, which I could only reach on foot, is only 
interesting as possessing some very hot springs, which are 
valuable in cases of rheumatism and sore eyes. It consists 
mainly of tea-houses and yadoyas, and seemed rather gay. It 
is built round the edge of an oblong depression, at the bottom 
of which the bath-houses stand, of which there are four, only 
nominally separated, and with but two entrances, which open 
directly upon the bathers. In the two end houses women 
and children were bathing in large tanks, and in the centre 
ones women and men were bathing together, but at opposite 
sides, with wooden ledges to sit upon all round. I followed 
the kuruma-rvrnnex blindly to the baths, and when once in I 
had to go out at the other side, being pressed upon by people 
from behind ; but the bathers were too polite to take any 
notice of my most unwilling intrusion, and the kuruma-runnzr 
took me in without the slightest sense of impropriety in so 
doing. I noticed that formal politeness prevailed in the bath- 
house as elsewhere, and that dippers and towels were handed 
from one to another with profound bows. The public bath- 
house is said to be the place in which public opinion is 
formed, as it is with us in clubs and public-houses, and that 
the presence of women prevents any dangerous or seditious 
consequences; but the Government is doing its best to prevent 
promiscuous bathing; and, though the reform may travel slowly 
into these remote regions, it will doubtless arrive sooner or 
later. The public bath-house is one of the features of Japan. 

I. L. B. 



A Hard Day's Journey An Overturn Nearing the Ocean Joyful Excitement 
Universal Greyness Inopportune Policemen A Stormy Voyage A 
Wild Welcome A Windy Landing The Journey's End. 

HAKODATE, YEZO, August 12, 1878. 

THE journey from Kuroishi to Aomori, though only 2 2 \ miles, 
was a tremendous one, owing to the state of the roads ; for 
more rain had fallen, and the passage of hundreds of pack- 
horses heavily loaded with salt-fish had turned the tracks into 
quagmires. At the end of the first stage the Transport Office 
declined to furnish a kuruma, owing to the state of the roads ; 
but, as I was not well enough to ride farther, I bribed two men 
for a very moderate sum to take me to the coast ; and by 
accommodating each other we got on tolerably, though I had 
to walk up all the hills and down many, to get out at every 
place where a little bridge had*been carried away, that the 
kuruma might be lifted over the gap, and often to walk for 
200 yards at a time, because it sank up to its axles in the 
quagmire. In spite of all precautions I was upset into a muddy 
ditch, with the kuruma on the top of me; but, as my air-pillow 
fortunately fell between the wheel and me, I escaped with 
nothing worse than having my clothes soaked with water and 
mud, which, as I had to keep them on all night, might have 
given me cold, but did not We met strings of pack-horses 
the whole way, carrying salt-fish, which is taken throughout 
the interior. 

The mountain-ridge, which runs throughout the Main 
Island, becomes depressed in the province of Nambu, but 
rises again into grand, abrupt hills at Aomori Bay. Between 
Kuroishi and Aomori, however, it is broken up into low ranges, 
scantily wooded, mainly with pine, scrub oak, and the dwarf 


bamboo. The Sesamum ignosco, of which the incense-sticks 
are made, covers some hills to the exclusion of all else. Rice 
grows in the valleys, but there is not much cultivation, and the 
country looks rough, cold, and hyperborean. 

The forming hamlets grew worse and worse, with houses 
made roughly of mud, with holes scratched in the side for light 
to get in, or for smoke to get out, and the walls of some were 
only great pieces of bark and bundles of straw tied to the 
posts with straw ropes. The roofs were untidy, but this was 
often concealed by the profuse growth of the water-melons 
which trailed over them. The people were very dirty, but 
there was no appearance of special poverty, and a good deal 
of money must be made on the horses and mago required for 
the transit of fish from Yezo, and for rice to it. 

At Namioka occurred the last of the very numerous ridges 
we have crossed since leaving Nikko at a point called Tsuga- 
rusaka, and from it looked over a rugged country upon a 
dark-grey sea, nearly landlocked by pine-clothed hills, of a rich 
purple indigo colour. The clouds were drifting, the colour 
vras intensifying, the air was fresh and cold, the surrounding 
soil was peaty, the odours of pines were balsamic, it looked, 
felt, and smelt like home; the grey sea was Aomori Bay, 
beyond was the Tsugaru Strait, my long land-journey was 
done. A traveller said a steamer was sailing for Yezo at 
night, so, in a state of joyful excitement, I engaged four men, 
and by dragging, pushing, and lifting, they got me into 
Aomori, a town of grey houses, grey roofs, and grey stones 
on roofs, built on a beach of grey sand, round a grey bay a 
miserable-looking place, though the capital of the ken. 

It has a great export trade in cattle and rice to Yezo, 
besides being the outlet of an immense annual emigration from 
northern Japan to the Yezo fishery, and imports from Hako- 
date" large quantities of fish, skins, and foreign merchandise. 
It has some trade in a pretty but not valuable " seaweed," or 
variegated lacquer, called Aomori lacquer, but not actually 
made there, its own specialty being a sweetmeat made of 
beans and sugar. It has a deep and well-protected harbour, 
but no piers or conveniences for trade. It has barracks and 
the usual Government buildings, but there was no time to 
learn anything about it, only a short half-hour for getting my 


ticket at the Mitsu Bishi office, where they demanded and 
copied my passport; for snatching a morsel of fish at a 
restaurant where "foreign food" was represented by a very 
dirty table-cloth ; and for running down to the grey beach, 
where I was carried into a large sampan crowded with 
Japanese steerage passengers. 

The wind was rising, a considerable surf was running, the 
spray was flying over the boat, the steamer had her steam up, 
and was ringing and whistling impatiently, there was a scud of 
rain, and I was standing trying to keep my paper waterproof 
from being blown off, when three inopportune policemen 
jumped into the boat and demanded my passport. For a 
moment I wished them and the passport under the waves ! 
The steamer is a little old paddle-boat of about 70 tons, with 
no accommodation but a single cabin on deck. She was as 
clean and trim as a yacht, and, like a yacht, totally unfit for 
bad weather. Her captain, engineers, and crew were all 
Japanese, and not a word of English was spoken. My clothes 
were very wet, and the night was colder than the day had been, 
but the captain kindly covered me up with several blankets on 
the floor, so I did not suffer. We sailed early in the evening, 
with a brisk northerly breeze, which chopped round to the 
south-east, and by eleven blew a gale ; the sea ran high, the 
steamer laboured and shipped several heavy seas, much water 
entered the cabin, the captain - came below every half-hour, 
tapped the barometer, sipped some tea, offered me a lump of 
sugar, and made a face and gesture indicative of bad weather, 
and we were buffeted about mercilessly till 4 A.M., when heavy 
rain came on, and the gale fell temporarily with it. The boat 
is not fit for a night passage, and always lies in port when bad 
weather is expected ; and as this was said to be the severest 
gale which has swept the Tsugaru Strait since January, the 
captain was uneasy about her, but being so, showed as much 
calmness as if he had been a Briton 1 

The gale rose again after sunrise, and when, after doing 
sixty miles in fourteen hours, we reached the heads of Hako- 
dati Harbour, it was blowing and pouring like a bad day in 
Argyllshire, the spin-drift was driving over the bay, the Yezo 
mountains loomed darkly and loftily through rain and mist, 
and wind and thunder, and " noises of the northern sea," gave 


me a wild welcome to these northern shores. A rocky head 
like Gibraltar, a cold-blooded-looking grey town, straggling up 
a steep hillside, a few coniferce, a great many grey junks, a few 
steamers and vessels of foreign rig at anchor, a number of 
sampans riding the rough water easily, seen in flashes between 
gusts of rain and spin-drift, were all I saw, but somehow it all 
pleased me from its breezy, northern look. 

The steamer was not expected in the gale, so no one met 
me, and I went ashore with fifty Japanese clustered on the top 
of a decked sampan in such a storm of wind and rain that it 
took us 1 1 hour to go half a mile ; then I waited shelterless 
on the windy beach till the Customs' Officers were roused from 
their late slumbers, and then battled with the storm for a mile 
up a steep hill I was expected at the hospitable Consulate, 
but did not know it, and came here to the Church Mission 
House, to which Mr. and Mrs. Dening kindly invited me when 
I met them in Tokiyo. I was unfit to enter a civilised 
dwelling ; my clothes, besides being soaked, were coated and 
splashed with mud up to the top of my hat ; my gloves and 
boots were finished, my mud-splashed baggage was soaked 
with salt water ; but I feel a somewhat legitimate triumph at 
having conquered all obstacles, and having accomplished more 
than I intended to accomplish when I left Yedo. 

How musical the clamour of the northern ocean is ! How 
inspiriting the shrieking and howling of the boisterous wind ! 
Even the fierce pelting of the rain is home-like, and the cold 
in which one shivers is stimulating ! You cannot imagine the 
delight of being in a room with a door that will lock, to be in 
a bed instead of on a stretcher, of finding twenty-three letters 
containing good news, and of being able to read them in 
warmth and quietness under the roof of an English home 

I, L. B. 



No. of Houses. 




Tsuiji . . . 

. . 209 


Kurokawa . 

. - 215 



Hanadati . 

. . 2O 



. . 27 


Nurna . . . 




Tamagawa . 

. . 40 


Okuni . 

. . 2IO 



Kurosawa . . 





. . 2O 



Shirokasawa . 

. . 42 



Tenoko . 

. . I2O 




- 513 



Akayu . . 

7 CO 

Kaminoyama . 

. . 65O 


Yamagata . 

21,000 souls 



Tendo . 









. . 217 




. . 506 



Ashizawa . 

. . 7 



Shinjo . 

i, 060 



Kanayama . 

. . 165 



Nosoki . . . 




Innai . . . 




Yusawa . . . 




Yokote . . . 

. 2,070 



Rokugo . 



Shingoji . . 

. . 209 



Kubota . . . 

36,587 souls 


Minato . . . 




Carry forward 107 21 


No. of Houses. 







Abukawa . 

. 163 



Ichi Nichi Ichi 




Kado .... 








Tsugurata . 

. 186 



Tubine .... 




Kiriishi .... 




Kotsunagi . 



* T- 

Tsuguriko . 

. 136 



Odate .... 




Shirasawa . 




Ikarigaseki . 








Oaishaka . . 



Shinjo .... 




Aomori .... 






This is considerably under the actual distance, as on several of the 
mountain routes the ri is 56 chd, but in the lack of accurate information the 
ri has been taken at its ordinary standard of 36 chS throughout 



Form and Colour A Windy Capital Eccentricities in House Roofs. 

HAKODAT^, YEZO, August 13, 1878. 

AFTER a tremendous bluster for two days the weather has 
become beautifully fine, and I find the climate here more 
invigorating than that of the main island. It is Japan, but 
yet there is a difference somehow. When the mists lift they 
reveal not mountains smothered in greenery, but naked peaks, 
volcanoes only recently burnt out, with the red ash flaming 
under the noonday sun, and passing through shades of pink 
into violet at sundown. Strips of sand border the bay, ranges 
of hills, with here and there a patch of pine or scrub, fade into 
the far-off blue, and the great cloud shadows lie upon their 
scored sides in indigo and purple. Blue as the Adriatic are 
the waters of the land-locked bay, and the snowy sails of pale 
junks look whiter than snow against its intense azure. The 
abruptness of the double peaks behind the town is softened 
by a belt of cryptomeria, the sandy strip which connects the 
headland with the mainland heightens the general resemblance 
of the contour of the ground to Gibraltar; but while one 
dreams of the western world a kuruma passes one at a trot, 
temple drums are beaten in a manner which does not recall 
" the roll of the British drum," a Buddhist funeral passes down 
the street, or a man-cart pulled and pushed by four yellow- 
skinned, little-clothed mannikins, creaks by, with the mono- 
tonous grunt of Ha huida. 

A single look at Hakodate itself makes one feel that it is 
Japan all over. The streets are very wide and clean, but the 
houses are mean and low. The city looks as if it had just 
recovered from a conflagration. The houses are nothing but 


tinder. The grand tile roofs of some other cities are not to 
be seen. There is not an element of permanence in the wide 
and windy streets. It is an increasing and busy place ; it lies 
for two miles along the shore, and has climbed the hill till it 
can go no higher ; but still houses and people look poor. It 
has a skeleton aspect too, which is partially due to the number 
of permanent " clothes-horses " on the roofs. Stones, however, 
are its prominent feature. Looking down upon it from above 
you see miles of grey boulders, and realise that every roof in 
the windy capital is " hodden doun " by a weight of paving 
stones. Nor is this all Some of the flatter roofs are pebbled 
all over like a courtyard, and others, such as the roof of this 
house, for instance, are covered with sod and crops of grass, 
the two latter arrangements being precautions against risks 
from sparks during fires. These paving stones are certainly 
the cheapest possible mode of keeping the roofs on the houses 
in such a windy region, but they look odd. 

None of the streets, except one high up the hill, with a 
row of fine temples and temple grounds, call for any notice. 
Nearly every house is a shop ; most of the shops supply only 
the ordinary articles consumed by a large and poor population ; 
either real or imitated foreign goods abound in Main Street, 
and the only novelties are the furs, skins, and horns, which 
abound in shops devoted to their sale. I covet the great 
bear furs and the deep cream-coloured furs of Aino dogs, 
which are cheap as well as handsome. There are many 
second-hand, or, as they are called, "curio" shops, and the 
cheap lacquer from Aomori is also tempting to a stranger. 

I. L. B. 



Ito's Delinquency "Missionary Manners" A Predicted Failure. 


I AM enjoying Hakodate so much that, though my tour is all 
planned and my arrangements are made, I linger on from day 
to day. There has been an unpleasant eclaircisstment about 
Ito. You will remember that I engaged him without a 
character, and that he told both Lady Parkes and me that 
after I had done so his former master, Mr. Maries, asked him 
to go back to him, to which he had replied that he had " a 
contract with a lady." Mr. Maries is here, and I now find 
that he had a contract with Ito, by which Ito bound himself to 
serve him as long as he required him, for $7 a month, but that, 
hearing that I offered $12, he ran away from him and entered 
my service with a lie I Mr. Maries has been put to the greatest 
inconvenience by his defection, and has been hindered greatly 
in completing his botanical collection, for Ito is very clever, 
and he had not only trained him to dry plants successfully, 
but he could trust him to go away for two or three days and 
collect seeds. I am very sorry about it He says that Ito 
was a bad boy when he came to him, but he thinks that he 
cured him of some of his faults, and that he has served me 
faithfully. I have seen Mr. Maries at the Consul's, and have 
arranged that, after my Yczo tour is over, Ito shall be returned 
to his rightful master, who will take him to China and Formosa 
for a year and a half, and who, I think, will look after 
his well-being in every way. Dr. and Mrs. Hepburn, who are 
here, heard a bad account of the boy after I began my travels 
and were uneasy about me, but, except for this original lie, I 
have no fault to find with him, and his Shinto creed has not 


taught him any better. When I paid him his wages this 
morning he asked me if I had any fault to find, and I told 
him of my objection to his manners, which he took in very 
good part and promised to amend them ; " but," he added, 
"mine are just missionary manners 1" 

Yesterday I dined at the Consulate, to meet Count 
Diesbach, of the French Legation, Mr. Von Siebold, of the 
Austrian Legation, and Lieutenant Kreitner, of the Austrian 
army, who start to-morrow on an exploring expedition in the 
interior, intending to cross the sources of the rivers which fall 
into the oea on the southern coast and measure the heights of 
some of the mountains. They are " well found " in food and 
claret, but take such a number of pack-ponies with them that 
I predict that they will fail, and that I, who have reduced my 
luggage to 45 Ibs., will succeed ! 

I hope to start on my long-projected tour to-morrow ; I 
have planned it for myself with the confidence of an experi- 
enced traveller, and look forward to it with great pleasure, as 
a visit to the aborigines is sure to be full of novel and interesting 
experiences. Good-bye for a long time. I. L. B. 



A Lovely Sunset An Official Letter A " Front Horse" Japanese Courtesy 
The Steam Ferry Coolies Abscond A Team of Savages A Drove of 
Horses Floral Beauties An Unbeaten Track A Ghostly Dwelling 
Solitude and Eeriness. 

GlNSAINOMA, YEW), August 17. 

I AM once again in the wilds ! I am sitting outside an upper 
room built out almost over a lonely lake, with wooded points 
purpling and still shadows deepening in the sinking sun. A num- 
ber of men are dragging down the nearest hillside the carcass 
of a bear which they have just despatched with spears. There 
is no village, and the busy clatter of the cicada and the rustle 
of the forest are the only sounds which float on the still evening 
air. The sunset colours are pink and green ; on the tinted water 
lie the waxen cups of great water-lilies, and above the wooded 
heights the pointed, craggy, and altogether naked summit 
of the volcano of Komono-taki flushes red in the sunset. Not 
the least of the charms of the evening is that I am absolutely 
alone, having ridden the eighteen miles from Hakodate" without 
Ito or an attendant of any kind; have unsaddled my own 
horse, and by means of much politeness and a dexterous use 
of Japanese substantives have secured a good room and supper 
of rice, eggs, and black beans for myself and a mash of beans 
for my horse, which, as it belongs to the Kaitakushi, and has 
the dignity of iron shoes, is entitled to special consideration ! 

I am not yet off the " beaten track," but my spirits are 
rising with the fine weather, the drier atmosphere, and the 
freedom of Yezo. Yezo is to the main island of Japan what 

1 I venture to present this journal letter, with a few omissions, just as it 
was written, trusting that the interest which attaches to aboriginal races and 
little-visited regions will carry my readers through the minuteness and multi- 
plicity of its details. 

USTTBK xxxv.] A FORA Y IN YEZO. 217 

Tipperary is to an Englishman, Barra to a Scotchman, ' ' away 
down in Texas " to a New Yorker in the rough, little known, 
and thinly-peopled ; and people can locate all sorts of improb- 
able stories here without much fear of being found out, of 
which the Ainos and the misdeeds of the ponies furnish the 
staple, and the queer doings of men and dogs, and adventures 
with bears, wolves, and salmon, the embroidery. Nobody 
comes here without meeting with something queer, and one or 
two tumbles either with or from his horse. Very little is 
known of the interior except that it is covered with forest 
matted together by lianas, and with an undergrowth of scrub 
bamboo impenetrable except to the axe, varied by swamps 
equally impassable, which give rise to hundreds of rivers well 
stocked with fish. The glare of volcanoes is seen in different 
parts of the island. The forests are the hunting-grounds of 
the Ainos, who are complete savages in everything but their 
disposition, which is said to be so gentle and harmless that I 
may go among them with perfect safety. 

Kindly interest has been excited by the first foray made by 
a lady into the country of the aborigines ; and Mr. Eusden, 
the Consul, has worked upon the powers that be with such 
good effect that the Governor has granted me a shomon, a sort 
of official letter or certificate, giving me a right to obtain 
horses and coolies everywhere at the Government rate of 6 sen 
a rt\ with a prior claim to accommodation at the houses kept up 
for officials on their circuits, and to help and assistance from 
officials generally; and the Governor has further telegraphed 
to the other side of Volcano Bay desiring the authorities to 
give me the use of the Government kuruma as long as I need 
it, and to detain the steamer to suit my convenience ! With 
this document, which enables me to dispense with my passport, 
I shall find travelling very easy, and I am very grateful to the 
Consul for procuring it for me. 

Here, where rice and tea have to be imported, there is a 
uniform charge at ft&yadoyas of 30 sen a day, which includes 
three meals, whether you eat them or not Horses are 
abundant, but are small, and are not up to heavy weights. 
They are entirely unshod, and, though their hoofs are very 
shallow and grow into turned-up points and other singular 
shapes, they go over rough ground with facility at a scrambling 


run of over four miles an hour following a leader called a 
" front horse." If you don't get a " front horse " and try to 
ride in front, you find that your horse will not stir till he has 
another before him ; and then you are perfectly helpless, as he 
follows the movements of his leader without any reference to 
your wishes. There are no mago ; a man rides the " front 
horse " and goes at whatever pace you please, or, if you get a 
"front horse," you may go without any one. Horses are 
cheap and abundant. They drive a number of them down from 
the hills every morning into corrals in the villages, and keep them 
there till they are wanted. Because they are so cheap they are 
very badly used. I have not seen one yet without a sore back, 
produced by the harsh pack-saddle rubbing up and down the 
spine, as the loaded animals are driven at a run. They are 
mostly very poor-looking. 

As there was some difficulty about getting a horse for me 
the Consul sent one of the Kaitakushi saddle-horses, a hand 
some, lazy animal, which I rarely succeeded in stimulating 
into a heavy gallop. Leaving Ito to follow with the baggage, 
I enjoyed my solitary ride and the possibility of choosing my 
own pace very much, though the choice was only between a 
slow walk and the lumbering gallop aforesaid. 

I met strings of horses loaded with deer hides, and over 
took other strings loaded with sake and manufactured goods 
and in each case had a fight with my sociably inclined animal. 
In two villages I was interested to see that the small shops 
contained lucifer matches, cotton umbrellas, boots, brushes, 
clocks, slates, and pencils, engravings in frames, kerosene 
lamps, 1 and red and green blankets, all but the last, which are 
unmistakable British " shoddy," being Japanese imitations of 
foreign manufactured goods, more or less cleverly executed. 
The road goes up hill for fifteen miles, and, after passing 
Nanai, a trim Europeanised village in the midst of fine crops, 
one of the places at which the Government is making accli- 
matisation and other agricultural experiments, it fairly enters 

1 The use of kerosene in matted wooden houses is a new cause of confla- 
grations. It is not possible to say how it originated, but just before Christmas 
1879 a fire broke out in Hakodate, which in a few hours destroyed 20 streets, 
2500 houses, the British Consulate, several public buildings, the new native 
Christian church, and the church Mission House, leaving 11,000 people 


the mountains, and from the top of a steep hill there is a 
glorious view of Hakodate Head, looking like an island in the 
deep blue sea, and from the top of a higher hill, looking north- 
ward, a magnificent view of the volcano with its bare, pink 
summit rising above three lovely lakes densely wooded. 
These are the flushed scaurs and outbreaks of bare rock for 
which I sighed amidst the smothering greenery of the main 
island, and the silver gleam of the lakes takes away the blind- 
ness from the face of nature. It was delicious to descend to 
the water's edge in the dewy silence amidst balsamic odours, 
to find not a clattering grey village with its monotony, but a 
single, irregularly-built house, with lovely surroundings. 

It is a most displeasing road for most of the way ; sides 
with deep corrugations, and in the middle a high causeway of 
earth, whose height is being added to by hundreds of creels of 
earth brought on ponies' backs. It is supposed that carriages 
and waggons will use this causeway, but a shying horse or a 
bad driver would overturn them. As it is at present the road 
is only passable for pack-horses, owing to the number of 
broken bridges. I passed strings of horses laden with sake going 
into the interior. The people of Yezo drink freely, and the 
poor Ainos outrageously. On the road I dismounted to rest 
myself by walking up hill, and, the saddle being loosely girthed, 
the gear behind it dragged it round and under the body of the 
horse, and it was too heavy for me to lift on his back again. 
When I had led him for some time two Japanese with a 
string of pack-horses loaded with deer-hides met me, and not 
only put the saddle on again, but held the stirrup while I re- 
mounted, and bowed politely when I went away. Who could 
help liking such a courteous and kindly people ? 


Even Ginsainoma was not Paradise after dark, and I was 
actually driven to bed early by the number of mosquitoes. 
Ito is in an excellent humour on this tour. Like me, he likes 
the freedom of the Hokkaidd. He is much more polite and 
agreeable also, and very proud of the Governor's shomon, 
with which he swaggers into hotels and Transport Offices. I 
never get on so well as when he arranges for me. Saturday 


was grey and lifeless, and the ride of seven miles here along a 
sandy road through monotonous forest and swamp, with the 
volcano on one side and low wooded hills on the other, was 
wearisome and fatiguing. I saw five large snakes all in a heap, 
and a number more twisting through the grass. There are no 
villages, but several very poor tea-houses, and on the other side 
of the road long sheds with troughs hollowed like canoes out 
of the trunks of trees, containing horse food. Here nobody 
walks, and the men ride at a quick run, sitting on the tops of 
their pack-saddles with their legs crossed above their horses' 
necks, and wearing large hats like coal-scuttle bonnets. The 
horses are infested with ticks, hundreds upon one animal 
sometimes, and occasionally they become so mad from the 
irritation that they throw themselves suddenly on the ground, 
and roll over load and rider. I saw this done twice. The 
ticks often transfer themselves to the riders. 

Mori is a large, ramshackle village, near the southern point 
of Volcano Bay a wild, dreary-looking place on a sandy shore, 
with a number ofjdroyas and disreputable characters. Several 
of the yadoyas are not respectable, but I rather like this one, 
and it has a very fine view of the volcano, which forms one 
point of the bay. Mori has no anchorage, though it has an 
unfinished pier 345 feet long. The steam ferry across the 
mouth of the bay is here, and there is a very difficult bridle- 
track running for nearly 100 miles round the bay besides, and 
a road into the interior. But it is a forlorn, decayed place. 
Last night the inn was very noisy, as some travellers in the 
.next room to mine hired geishas, who played, sang, and danced 
till two in the morning, and the whole party imbibed sake freely. 
In this comparatively northern latitude the summer is already 
waning. The seeds ot che blossoms which were in their glory 
when I arrived are ripe, and here and there a tinge of yellow 
on a hillside, or a scarlet spray of maple, heralds the glories 
and the coolness of autumn. 


A loud yell of " steamer," coupled with the information 
that " she could not wait one minute," broke in upon gd and 
everything else, and in a broiling sun we hurried down to the 
pier, and with a heap of Japanese, who filled two scows, were 


put on board a steamer not bigger than a large decked steam 
launch, where the natives were all packed into a covered hole, 
and I was conducted with much ceremony to the forecastle, a 
place at the bow 5 feet square, full of coils of rope, shut in, 
and left to solitude and dignity, and the stare of eight eyes, 
which perseveringly glowered through the windows ! The 
steamer had been kept waiting for me on the other side for 
two days, to the infinite disgust of two foreigners, who wished 
to return to Hakodate", and to mine. 

It was a splendid day, with foam crests on the wonderfully 
blue water, and the red ashes of the volcano, which forms the 
south point of the bay, glowed in the sunlight This wretched 
steamer, whose boilers are so often " sick " that she can never 
be relied upon, is the only means of reaching the new capital 
without taking a most difficult and circuitous route. To con- 
tinue the pier and put a capable good steamer on the ferry 
would be a -useful expenditure of money. The breeze was 
strong and in our favour, but even with this it took us six 
weary hours to steam twenty-five miles, and it was eight at 
night before we reached the beautiful and almost land-locked 
bay of Mororan, with steep, wooded sides, and deep water close 
to the shore, deep enough for the foreign ships of war which 
occasionally anchor there, much to the detriment of the town. 
We got off in over-crowded sampans, and several people fell 
into the water, much to their own amusement. The servants 
from the different yadoyas go down to the jetty to " tout " for 
guests with large paper lanterns, and the effect of these, one 
above another, waving and undulating, with their soft coloured 
light, was as bewitching as the reflection of the stars in the 
motionless water. Mororan is a small town very picturesquely 
situated on the steep shore of a most lovely bay, with another 
height, richly wooded, above it, with shrines approached by 
flights of stone stairs, and behind this hill there is the first 
Aino village along this coast 

The long, irregular street is slightly picturesque, but I was 
impressed both with the unusual sight of loafers and with the 
dissolute look of the place, arising from the number ofjdrdyas, 
and from the number of yadoyas that are also haunts of the 
vicious. I could only get a very small room in a very poor 
and dirty inn, but there were no mosquitoes, and I got a good 


meal of fish. On sending to order horses I found that every- 
thing was arranged for my journey. The Governor sent his 
card early, to know if there were anything I should like to see 
or do, but, as the morning was grey and threatening, I wished 
to push on, and at 9.30 I was in the kuruma at the inn door. 
I call it the kuruma because it is the only one, and is kept by 
the Government for the conveyance of hospital patients. I 
sat there uncomfortably and patiently for half an hour, my 
only amusement being the flirtations of Ito with a very pretty- 
girl. Loiterers assembled, but no one came to draw the 
vehicle, and by degrees the dismal truth leaked out that the 
three coolies who had been impressed for the occasion had all 
absconded, and that four policemen were in search of them. 
I walked on in a dawdling way up the steep hill which leads 
from the town, met Mr. Akboshi, a pleasant young Japanese 
surveyor, who spoke English and stigmatised Mororan as 
"the worst place in Yezo;" and, after fuming for. two hours at 
the waste of time, was overtaken by Ito with the horses, in a 
boiling rage. "They're the worst and wickedest coolies in all 
Japan," he stammered ; " two more ran away, and now three 
are coming, and have got paid for four, and the first three who 
ran away got paid, and the Express man's so ashamed for a 
foreigner, and the Governor's in a furious rage." 

Except for the loss of time it made no difference to me, 
but when the kuruma did come up the runners were three 
such ruffianly-looking men, and were dressed so wildly in bark 
cloth, that, in sending Ito on twelve miles to secure relays, I 
sent my money along with him. These men, though there 
were three instead of two, never went out of a walk, and, as if 
on purpose, took the vehicle over every stone and into every 
rut, and kept up a savage chorus of " hacs-ha, haes-hora " the 
whole time, as if they were pulling stone-carts. There are 
really no runners out of Hakodate", and the men don't know 
how to pull, and hate doing it 

Mororan Bay is truly beautiful from the top of the ascent. 
The coast scenery of Japan generally is the loveliest I have ever 
seen, except that of a portion of windward Hawaii, and this 
yields in beauty to none. The irregular grey town, with a 
grey temple on the height above, straggles round the little bay 
on a steep, wooded terrace ; hills, densely wooded, and with a 



perfect entanglement of large-leaved trailers, descend abruptly 
to the water's edge ; the festoons of the vines are mirrored in 
the still waters ; and above the dark forest, and beyond the 
gleaming sea, rises the red, peaked top of the volcano. Then 
the road dips abruptly to sandy swellings, rising into bold 
headlands here and there ; and for the first tirhe I saw the 
surge of 5000 miles of unbroken ocean break upon the shore. 
Glimpses of the Pacific, an uncultivated, swampy level quite 
uninhabited, and distant hills mainly covered with forest, made 
up the landscape till I reached Horobets, a mixed Japanese 
and Aino village built upon the sand near the sea. 



In these mixed villages the Ainos are compelled to live at 
a respectful distance from the Japanese, and frequently out- 
number them, as at Horobets, where there are forty-seven Aino 
and only eighteen Japanese houses. The Aino village looks 
larger than it really is, because nearly every house has a kura, 
raised six feet from the ground by wooden stilts. When I am 
better acquainted with the houses I shall describe them ; at 
present I will only say that they do not resemble the Japanese 
houses so much as the Polynesian, as they are made of reeds 
very neatly tied upon a wooden framework. They have small 
windows, and roofs of a very great height, and steep pitch, 
with the thatch in a series of very neat frills, and the ridge 



poles covered with reeds, and ornamented. The coast Aino.s 
are nearly all engaged in fishing, but at this season the men 
hunt deer in the forests. On this coast there are several names 
compounded with bets or pets, the Aino for a river, such as 
Horobets, Yubets, Mombets, etc. 

I found that Ito had been engaged for a whole hour in a 
violent altercation, which was caused by the Transport Agent 

AINO LODGES (from a Japanese Sketch). 

refusing to supply runners for the kuruma, saying that no one 
in Horobets would draw one, but on my producing the shomon 
I was at once started on my journey of sixteen miles with three 
Japanese lads, Ito riding on to Shiraoi to get my room ready. 
I think that the Transport Offices in Yezo are in Government 
hands. In a few minutes three Ainos ran out of a house, 
took the kuruma, and went the whole stage without stopping. 
They took a boy and three saddled horses along with them to 
bring them back, and rode and hauled alternately, two youths 
always attached to the shafts, and a man pushing behind. 


They were very kind, and so courteous, after a new fashion, 
that I quite forgot that I was alone among savages. The lads 
were young and beardless, their lips were thick, and their 
mouths very wide, and I thought that they approached more 
nearly to the Eskimo type than to any other. They had 
masses of soft black hair falling on each side of their faces. The 
adult man was not a pure Aino. His dark hair was not very 
thick, and both it and his beard had an occasional auburn 
gleam. I think I never saw a face more completely beautiful 
in features and expression, with a lofty, sad, far-off, gentle, 
intellectual look, rather that of Sir Noel Paton's "Christ" 
than of a savage. His manner was most graceful, and he 
spoke both Aino and Japanese in the low musical tone which 
I find is a characteristic of Aino speech. These Ainos never 
took off their clothes, but merely let them fall from one or 
both shoulders when it was very warm. 

The road from Horobets to Shiraoi is very solitary, with 
not more than four or five houses the whole way. It is broad 
and straight, except when it ascends hills or turns inland to 
cross rivers, and is carried across a broad swampy level, 
covered with tall wild flowers, which extends from the high 
beach thrown up by the sea for two miles inland, where there 
is a lofty wall of wooded rock, and beyond this the forest- 
covered mountains of the interior. On the top of the raised 
beach there were Aino hamlets, and occasionally a nearly 
overpowering stench came across the level from the sheds and 
apparatus used for extracting fish-oil I enjoyed the after- 
noon thoroughly. It is so good to have got beyond the 
confines of stereotyped civilisation and the trammels of 
Japanese travelling to the solitude of nature and an atmos- 
phere of freedom. It was grey, with a hard, dark line of 
ocean horizon, and over the weedy level the grey road, with 
grey telegraph-poles along it, stretched wearisomely like a grey 
thread. The breeze came up from the sea, rustled the reeds, 
and waved the tall plumes of the Eulalia japonica, and the 
thunder of the Pacific surges boomed through the air with its 
grand, deep bass. Poetry and music pervaded the solitude, 
and my spirit was rested. 

Going up and then down a steep, wooded hill, the road 
appeared to return to its original state of brushwood, and the 


men stopped at the broken edge of a declivity which led down 
to a shingle bank and a foam-crested river of clear, blue-green 
water, strongly impregnated with sulphur from some medicinal 
springs above, with a steep bank of tangle on the opposite 
side. This beautiful stream was crossed by two round poles, 
a foot apart, on which I attempted to walk with the help of 
an Aino hand ; but the poles were very unsteady, and I doubt 
whether any one, even with a strong head, could walk on them 
in boots. Then the beautiful Aino signed to me to come 
back and mount on his shoulders ; but when he had got a few 
feet out the poles swayed and trembled so much that he was 
obliged to retrace his way cautiously, during which process I 
endured miseries from dizziness and fear; after which he 
carried me through the rushing water, which was up to his 
shoulders, and through a bit of swampy jungle, and up a steep 
bank, to the great fatigue both of body and mind, hardly miti- 
gated by the enjoyment of the ludicrous in riding a savage 
through these Yezo waters. They dexterously carried the 
kuruma through, on the shoulders of four, and showed extreme 
anxiety that neither it nor I should get wet After this we 
crossed two deep, still rivers in scows, and far above the grey 
level and the grey sea the sun was setting in gold and 
vermilion-streaked green behind a glorified mountain of great 
height, at whose feet the forest-covered hills lay in purple 
gloom. At dark we reached Shiraoi, a village of eleven 
Japanese houses, with a village of fifty-one Aino houses, near 
the sea. There is a large yadoya of the old style there ; but I 
found that Ito had chosen a very pretty new one, with four 
stalls open to the road, in the centre one of which I found 
him, with the welcome news that a steak of fresh salmon was 
broiling on the coals ; and, as the room was clean and sweet 
and I was very hungry, I enjoyed my meal by the light of a 
rush in a saucer of fish-oil as much as any part of the day. 


The night was too cold for sleep, and at daybreak, hearing 
a great din, I looked out, and saw a drove of fully a hundred 
horses all galloping down the road, with two Ainos on horse- 
back, and a number of big dogs after them. Hundreds of 


horses run nearly wild on the hills, and the Ainos, getting a 
large drove together, skilfully head them for the entrance into 
the corral^ in which a selection of them is made for the day's 
needs, and the remainder that is, those with the deepest 
sores on their backs are turned loose. This dull rattle of 
shoeless feet is the first sound in the morning in these Yezo 
villages. I sent Ito on early, and followed at nine with three 
Ainos. The road is perfectly level for thirteen miles, through 
gravel flats and swamps, very monotonous, but with a wild 
charm of its own. There were swampy lakes, with wild ducks 
and small white water-lilies, and the surrounding levels were 
covered with reedy grass, flowers, and weeds. The early 
autumn has withered a great many of the flowers j but enough 
remains to show how beautiful the now russet plains must 
have been in the early summer. A dwarf rose, of a deep 
crimson colour, with orange, medlar-shaped hips, as large as 
crabs, and corollas three inches across, is one of the features 
of Yezo ; and besides, there is a large rose-red convolvulus, a 
blue campanula, with tiers of bells, a blue monkshood, the 
Aconitum Japonicum, the flaunting Calystegia soldandla, purple 
asters, grass of Parnassus, yellow lilies, and a remarkable 
trailer, whose delicate leafage looked quite out of place among 
its coarse surroundings, with a purplish-brown campanulate 
blossom, only remarkable for a peculiar arrangement of the 
pistil, green stamens, and a most offensive carrion-like odour, 
which is probably to attract to it a very objectionable-looking 
fly, for purposes of fertilisation. 

We overtook four Aino women, young and comely, with 
bare feet, striding firmly along ; and after a good deal of 
laughing with the men, they took hold of the kuruma, and the 
whole seven raced with it at full speed for half a mile, shriek- 
ing with laughter. Soon after we came upon a little tea-house, 
and the Ainos showed me a straw package, and pointed to 
their open mouths, by which I understood that they wished to 
stop and eat Later we overtook four Japanese on horseback, 
and the Ainos raced with them for a considerable distance, 
the result of these spurts being that I reached Tomakomai at 
noon a wide, dreary place, with houses roofed with sod, bearing 
luxuriant crops of weeds. Near this place is the volcano of 
Tarumai, a calm-looking, grey cone, whose skirts are draped 


by tens of thousands of dead trees. So calm and grey had it 
looked for many a year that people supposed it had passed 
into endless rest, when quite lately, on a sultry day, it blew off 
its cap and covered the whole country for many a mile with 
cinders and ashes, burning up the forest on its sides, adding a 
new covering to the Tomakomai roofs, and depositing fine 
ash as far as Cape Erimo, fifty miles off. 

At this place the road and telegraph wires turn inland to 
Satsuporo, and a track for horses only turns to the north-east, 
and straggles round the island for about seven hundred miles. 
From Mororan to Sarufuto there are everywhere traces of new 
and old volcanic action pumice, tufas, conglomerates, and 
occasional beds of hard basalt, all covered with recent pumice, 
which, from Shiraoi eastwards, conceals everything. At 
Tomakomai we took horses, and, as I brought my own saddle, 
I have had the nearest approach to real riding that I have 
enjoyed in Japan. The wife of a Satsuporo doctor was there, 
who was travelling for two hundred miles astride on a pack- 
saddle, with rope -loops for stirrups. She rode well, and 
vaulted into my saddle with circus -like dexterity, and per- 
formed many equestrian feats upon it, telling me that she 
should be quite happy if she were possessed of it 

I was happy when I left the " beaten track " to Satsuporo, 
and saw before me, stretching for I know not how far, rolling, 
sandy machirs like those of the Outer Hebrides, desert -like 
and lonely, covered almost altogether with dwarf roses and 
campanulas, a prairie land on which you can make any tracks 
you please. Sending the others on, I followed them at the 
Yezo scramble^ and soon ventured on a long gallop, and 
revelled in the music of the thud of shoeless feet over the 
elastic soil ; but I had not realised the peculiarities of Yezo 
steeds, and had forgotten to ask whether mine was a " front 
horse," and just as we were going at full speed we came 
nearly up with the others, and my horse coming abruptly to a 
full stop, I went six feet over his head among the rose-bushes. 
Ito looking back saw me tightening the saddle-girths, and I 
never divulged this escapade. 

After riding eight miles along this breezy belt, with the 
sea on one side and forests on the other, we came upon 
Yubets, a place which has fascinated me so much that I intend 


to return to it ; but I must confess that its fascinations depend 
rather upon what it has not than upon what it has, and Ito 
says that it would kill him to spend even two days there. It 
looks like the end of all things, as if loneliness and desolation 
could go no farther. A sandy stretch on three sides, a river 
arrested in its progress to the sea, and compelled to wander 
tediously in search of an outlet by the height and mass of the 
beach thrown up by the Pacific, a distant forest-belt rising into 
featureless, wooded ranges in shades of indigo and grey, and 
a never-absent consciousness of a vast ocean just out of sight, 
are the environments of two high look-outs, some sheds for 
fish-oil purposes, four or five Japanese houses, four Aino huts 
on the top of the beach across the river, and a grey barrack, 
consisting of a polished passage eighty feet long, with small 
rooms on either side, at one end a gravelled yard, with two 
quiet rooms opening upon it, and at the other an immense 
daidokoro, with dark recesses and blackened rafters a haunted- 
looking abode. Ore would suppose that there had been a 
special object in setting the houses down at weary distances 
from each other. Few as they are, they are not all inhabited 
at this season, and all that can be seen is grey sand, sparse 
grass, and a few savages creeping about. 

Nothing that I have seen has made such an impression 
upon me as that ghostly, ghastly fishing-station. In the long 
grey wall of the long grey barrack there were many dismal 
windows, and when we hooted for admission a stupid face 
appeared at one of them and disappeared. Then a grey 
gateway opened, and we rode into a yard of grey gravel, with 
some silent rooms opening upon it. The solitude of the 
thirty or forty rooms which lie between it and the kitchen, and 
which are now filled with nets and fishing-tackle, was some- 
thing awful; and as the wind swept along the polished passage, 
rattling the fusuma and lifting the shingles on the roof, and 
the rats careered from end to end, I went to the great black 
daidokoro in search of social life, and found a few embers and 
an andon, and nothing else but the stupid-faced man deploring 
his fate, and two orphan boys whose lot he makes more 
wretched than his own. In the fishing-season this barrack 
accommodates from 200 to 300 men. 

I started to the sea-shore, crossing the dreary river, and 


found open sheds much blackened, deserted huts of reeds, 
long sheds with a nearly insufferable odour from caldrons in 
which oil had been extracted from last year's fish, two or three 
Aino huts, and two or three grand-looking Ainos, clothed in 
skins, striding like ghosts over the sandbanks, a number of 
wolfish dogs, some log canoes or " dug-outs," the bones of a 
wrecked junk, a quantity of bleached drift-wood, a beach of 
dark-grey sand, and a tossing expanse of dark-grey ocean under 
a dull and windy sky. On this part of the coast the Pacific 
spends its fury, and has raised up at a short distance above 
high-water mark a sandy sweep of such a height that when you 
descend its seaward slope you see nothing but the sea and the 
sky, and a grey, curving shore, covered thick for many a lonely 
mile with fantastic forms of whitened drift-wood, the shattered 
wrecks of forest-trees, which are carried down by the innumer- 
able rivers, till, after tossing for weeks and months along with 

" wrecks of ships, and drifting 

spars uplifting 
On the desolate, rainy seas : 
Ever drifting, drifting, drifting, 

On the shifting 
Currents of the restless main ;" 

the "toiling surges" cast them on Yubets beach, and 
"All have found repose again." 

A grim repose ! 

The deep boom of the surf was music, and the strange 
cries of sea-birds, and the hoarse notes of the audacious black 
crows, were all harmonious, for nature, when left to herself, 
never produces discords either in sound or colour 


LETTER XXXV. (Continued.) 

The Harmonies of Nature A Good Horse A Single Discord A Forest 
Aino Ferrymen "La Puces/ La Puces/" Baffled Explorers Ito's 
Contempt for Ainos An Aino Introduction. 


No 1 Nature has no discords. This morning, to the far 
horizon, diamond -flashing blue water shimmered in perfect 
peace, outlined by a line of surf which broke lazily on a beach 
scarcely less snowy than itself. The deep, perfect blue of the 
sky was only broken by a few radiant white clouds, whose 
shadows trailed slowly over the plain on whose broad bosom a 
thousand corollas, in the glory of their brief but passionate 
life, were drinking in the sunshine, wavy ranges slept in depths 
of indigo, and higher hills beyond were painted in faint blue 
on the dreamy sky. Even the few grey houses of Yubets were 
spiritualised into harmony by a faint blue veil which was not a 
mist, and the loud croak of the loquacious and impertinent 
crows had a cheeriness about it, a hearty mockery, which 
I liked. 

Above all, I had a horse so good that he was always trying 
to run away, and galloped so lightly over the flowery grass that 
I rode the seventeen miles here with great enjoyment. Truly a 
good horse, good ground to gallop on, and sunshine, make up 
the sum of enjoyable travelling. The discord in the general 
harmony was produced by the sight of the Ainos, a harmless 
people without the instinct of progress, descending to that vast 
tomb of conquered and unknown races which has opened to 
receive so many before them. A mounted policeman started 
with us from Yubets, and rode the whole way here, keeping 
exactly to my pace, but never speaking a word. We forded 
one broad, deep river, and crossed another, partly by fording 


and partly in a scow, after which the track left the level, and, 
after passing through reedy grass as high as the horse's ears, 
went for some miles up and down hill, through woods com- 
posed entirely of the Ailanthus glandulosus, with leaves much 
riddled by the mountain silk-worm, and a ferny undergrowth 
of the familiar Pteris aquilina. The deep shade and glancing 
lights of this open copsewood were very pleasant ; and as the 
horse tripped gaily up and down the little hills, and the sea 
murmur mingled with the rustle of the breeze, and a glint of 
white surf sometimes flashed through the greenery, and dragon- 
flies and butterflies in suits of crimson and black velvet crossed 
the path continually like "living flashes" of light, I was 
reminded somewhat, though faintly, of windward Hawaii. We 
emerged upon an Aino hut and a beautiful placid river, and 
two Ainos ferried the four people and horses across in a scow, 
the third wading to guide the boat. They wore no clothing, 
but only one was hairy. They were superb -looking men, 
gentle, and extremely courteous, handing me in and out of the 
boat, and holding the stirrup while I mounted, with much 
natural grace. On leaving they extended their arms and 
waved their hands inwards twice, stroking their grand beards 
afterwards, which is their usual salutation. A short distance 
over shingle brought us to this Japanese village of sixty-three 
houses, a colonisation settlement, mainly of samurai from the 
province of Sendai, who are raising very fine crops on the 
sandy soil. The mountains, twelve miles in the interior, have 
a large Aino population, and a few Ainos live near this village 
and are held in great contempt by its inhabitants. My room 
is on the village street, and, as it is too warm to close the 
shdji, the aborigines stand looking in at the lattice hour after 

A short time ago Mr. Von Siebold and Count Diesbach 
galloped up on their return from Biratori, the Aino village to 
which I am going ; and Count D., throwing himself from his 
horse, rushed up to me with the exclamation, Les puces! les 
puces! They have brought down with them the chief, Benri, 
a superb but dissipated -looking savage. Mr. Von Siebold 
called on me this evening, and I envied him his fresh, clean 
clothing as much as he envied me my stretcher and mosquito- 
net. They have suffered terribly from fleas, mosquitoes, and 


general discomfort, and are much exhausted ; but Mr. Von S. 
thinks that, in spite of all, a visit to the mountain Ainos is 
worth a long journey. As I expected, they have completely 
failed in their explorations, and have been deserted by Lieu- 
tenant Kreitner. I asked Mr. Von S. to speak to Ito in 
Japanese about the importance of being kind and courteous to 
the Ainos whose hospitality I shall receive ; and Ito is very 
indignant at this. "Treat Ainos politely!" he says; "they're 
just dogs, not men;" and since he has regaled me with all the 
scandal concerning them which he has been able to rake 
together in the village. 

We have to take not only food for both Ito and myself, but 
cooking utensils. I have been introduced to Benri, the chief; 
and, though he does not return for a day or two, he will send a 
message along with us which will ensure me hospitality. 

I. L. B. 

I 2 




Savage Life A Forest Track Cleanly Villages A Hospitable Reception 
The Chief's Mother The Evening Meal A Savage Stance Libations to 
the Gods Nocturnal Silence Aino Courtesy The Chiefs Wife . 


I AM in the lonely Aino land, and I think that the most inter- 
esting of my travelling experiences has been the living for 
three days and two nights in an Aino hut, and seeing and 


sharing the daily life of complete savages, who go on with 
their ordinary occupations just as if I were not among them 



I found yesterday a most fatiguing and over-exciting day. 
as everything was new and interesting, even the extracting 
from men who have few if any ideas in common with me all 
I could extract concerning their religion and customs, and that 
through an interpreter. I got up at six this morning to write 
out my notes, and have been writing for five hours, and there 

AIXOS AT HOME (From a Japanese SketcJi). 

is shortly the prospect of another savage stance. The distrac- 
tions, as you can imagine, are many. At this moment a savage 
is taking a cup of sake by the fire in the centre of the floor. 
He salutes me by extending his hands and waving them 
towards his face, and then dips a rod in the sake, and makes 
six libations to the god an upright piece of wood with a 
fringe of shavings planted in the floor of the room. Then he 
waves the cup several times towards himself, makes other 


libations to the fire, and drinks. Ten other men and women 
are sitting along each side of the fire-hole, the chiefs wife is 
cooking, the men are apathetically contemplating the prepara- 
tion of their food ; and the other women, who are never idle, 
are splitting the bark of which they make their clothes. I 
occupy the guest seat a raised platform at one end of the fire, 
with the skin of a black bear thrown over it. 

I have reserved all I have to say about the Ainos till I had 
been actually among them, and I hope you will have patience 
to read to the end. Ito is very greedy and self-indulgent, and 
whimpered very much about coming to Biratori at all, one 
would have thought he was going to the stake. He actually 
borrowed for himself a sleeping mat and futons, and has 
brought a chicken, onions, potatoes, French beans, Japanese 
sauce, tea, rice, a kettle, a stew-pan, and a rice-pan, while I 
contented myself with a cold fowl and potatoes. 

We took three horses and a mounted Aino guide, and 
found a beaten track the whole way. It turns into the forest 
at once on leaving Sarufuto, and goes through forest the entire 
distance, with an abundance of reedy grass higher than my hat 
on horseback along it, and, as it is only twelve inches broad 
and much overgrown, the horses were constantly pushing 
through leafage soaking from a night's rain, and I was soon 
wet up to my shoulders. The forest trees are almost solely 
the Ailanthus glandulosus and the Zelkowa keaki, often matted 
together with a white-flowered trailer of the Hydrangea genus. 
The undergrowth is simply hideous, consisting mainly of coarse 
reedy grass, monstrous docks, the large-leaved Polygonum 
cuspidatum^ several umbelliferous plants, and a "ragweed" 
which, like most of its gawky fellows, grows from five to six 
feet high. The forest is dark and very silent, threaded by this 
narrow path, and by others as narrow, made by the hunters in 
search of game. The " main road " sometimes plunges into 
deep bogs, at others is roughly corduroyed by the roots of 
trees, and frequently hangs over the edge of abrupt and much- 
worn declivities, in going up one of which the baggage-horse 
rolled down a bank fully thirty feet high, and nearly all the tea 
was lost At another the guide's pack-saddle lost its balance, 
and man, horse, and saddle went over the slope, pots, pans, 
and packages flying after them. At another time my horse 


sank up to his chest in a very bad bog, and, as he was totally 
unable to extricate himself, I was obliged to scramble upon 
his neck and jump to terra firma over his ears. 

There is something very gloomy in the solitude of this 
silent land, with its beast-haunted forests, its great patches of 
pasture, the resort of wild animals which haunt the lower 
regions in search of food when the snow drives them down 
from the mountains, and its narrow track, indicating the single 
file in which the savages of the interior walk with their bare, 
noiseless feet Reaching the Sarufutogawa, a river with a 
treacherous bottom, in which Mr. Von Siebold and his horse 
came to grief, I hailed an Aino boy, who took me up the 
stream in a "dug-out," and after that we passed through 
Biroka, Saruba, and Mina, all purely Aino villages, situated 
among small patches of millet, tobacco, and pumpkins, so 
choked with weeds that it was doubtful whether they were 
crops. I was much surprised with the extreme neatness and 
cleanliness outside the houses ; " model villages " they are in 
these respects, with no l-itter lying in sight anywhere, nothing 
indeed but dog troughs, hollowed out of logs, like " dug-outs," 
for the numerous yellow dogs, which are a feature of Aino 
life. There are neither puddles nor heaps, but the houses, all 
trim and in good repair, rise clean out of the sandy soil. 

Biratori, the largest of the Aino settlements in this region, 
is very prettily situated among forests and mountains, on 
rising ground, with a very sinuous river winding at its feet and 
a wooded height above. A lonelier place could scarcely be 
found. As we passed among the houses the yellow dogs 
barked, the women looked shy and smiled, and the men made 
their graceful salutation. We stopped at the chiefs house, 
where, of course, we were unexpected guests ; but Shinondi, 
his nephew, and two other men came out, saluted us, and with 
most hospitable intent helped Ito to unload the horses. Indeed 
their eager hospitality created quite a commotion, one running 
hither and the other thither in their anxiety to welcome a 
stranger. It is a large house, the room being 35 by 25, and 
the roof 20 feet high ; but you enter by an ante-chamber, in 
which are kept the millet-mill and other articles. There is a 
doorway in this, but the inside is pretty dark, and Shinondi, 
taking my hand, raised the reed curtain bound with hide, 



which concealed the entrance into the actual house, and, 
leading me into it, retired a footstep, extended his arms, 
waved his arms inwards three times, and then stroked his 
beard several times, after which he indicated by a sweep of 
his hand and a beautiful smile that the house and all it 
contained were mine. An aged woman, the chiefs mother, 
who was splitting bark by the fire, waved her hands also. 
She is the queen-regnant of the house. 

Again taking my hand, Shinondi led me to the place of 
honour at the head of the fire a rude, movable platform six 


feet long by four broad, and a foot high, on which he laid an 
ornamental mat, apologising for not having at that moment a 
bearskin wherewith to cover it. The baggage was speedily 
brought in by several willing pairs of hands ; some reed mats 
fifteen feet long were laid down upon the very coarse ones 
which covered the whole floor, and when they saw Ito 
putting up my stretcher they hung a fine mat along the rough 
wall to conceal it, and suspended another on the beams of the 
roof for a canopy. The alacrity and instinctive hospitality 
Avith which these men rushed about to make things comfort- 


able were very fascinating, though comfort is a word misapplied 
in an Aino hut The women only did what the men told 

They offered food at once, but I told them that I had 
brought my own, and would only ask leave to cook it on their 
fire. I need not have brought any cups, for they have many 
lacquer bowls, and Shinondi brought me on a lacquer tray a 
bowl full of water from one of their four wells. They said 
that Benri, the chief, would wish me to make his house my 
own for as long as I cared to stay, and I must excuse them in 
all things in which their ways were different from my own. 
Shinondi and four others in the village speak tolerable Japan- 
ese, and this of course is the medium of communication. Ito 
has exerted himself nobly as an interpreter, and has entered 
into my wishes with a cordiality and intelligence which have 
been perfectly invaluable ; and, though he did growl at Mr. 
Von Siebold's injunctions regarding politeness, he has carried 
them out to my satisfaction, and even admits that the mountain 
Ainos are better than he expected ; " but," he added " they 
have learned their politeness from the Japanese 1" They have 
never seen a foreign woman, and only three foreign men, but 
there is neither crowding nor staring as among the Japanese, 
possibly in part from apr'.hy and want of intelligence. For 
three days they have kept up their graceful and kindly hospi- 
tality, going on with their ordinary life and occupations, and, 
though I have lived among them in this room by day and 
night, there has been nothing which in any way could 
offend the most fastidious sense of delicacy. 

They said they would leave me to eat and rest, and all 
retired but the chiefs mother, a weird, witch-like woman of 
eighty, with shocks of yellow-white hair, and a stern suspicious- 
ness in her wrinkled face. I have come to feel as if she had 
the evil eye, as she sits there watching, watching always, and 
for ever knotting the bark thread like one of the Fates, 
keeping a jealous watch on her son's two wives, and on other 
young women who come in to weave neither the dulness 
nor the repose of old age about her ; and her eyes gleam with 
a greedy light when she sees sakt, of which she drains a bowl 
without taking breath. She alone is suspicious of strangers, 
and she thinks that my visit bodes no good to her tribe. I 


see her eyes fixed upon me now, and they make me 

I had a good meal seated in my chair on the top of the 
guest-seat to avoid the fleas, which are truly legion. At dusk 
Shinondi returned, and soon people began to drop in, till 
eighteen were assembled, including the sub-chief and several 
very grand-looking old men, with full, grey, wavy beards. Age 
is held in much reverence, and it is etiquette for these old men 
to do honour to a guest in the chiefs absence. As each 
entered he saluted me several times, and after sitting down 
turned towards me and saluted again, going through the same 
ceremony with every other person. They said they had come 
" to bid me welcome." They took their places in rigid order 
at each side of the fireplace, which is six feet long, Benri's 
mother in the place of honour at the right, then Shinondi, then 
the sub-chief, and on the other side the old men. Besides 
these, seven women sat in a row in the background splitting 
bark. A large iron pan hung over the fire from a blackened 
arrangement above, and Benri's principal wife cut wild roots, 
green beans, and seaweed, and shred dried fish and venison 
among them, adding millet, water, and some strong-smelling 
fish-oil, and set the whole on to stew for three hours, stirring 
the " mess " now and then with a wooden spoon. 

Several of the older people smoke, and I handed round 
some mild tobacco, which they received with waving hands. 
I told them that I came from a land in the sea, very far away, 
where they saw the sun go down so very far away that a horse 
would have to gallop day and night for five weeks to reach it 
and that I had come a long journey to see them, and that I 
wanted to ask them many questions, so that when I went 
home I might tell my own people something about them. 
Shinondi and another man, who understood Japanese, bowed, 
and (as on every occasion) translated what I said into Aino 
for the venerable group opposite. Shinondi then said " that 
he and Shinrichi, the other Japanese speaker, would tell me 
all they knew, but they were but young men, and only knew 
what was told to them. ' They would speak what they believed 
to be true, but the chief knew more than they, and when he 
came back he might tell me differently, and then I should 
think that they had spoken lies." I said that no one who 

LETTIK xxxvi.] INQUIRIES. 241 

looked into their faces could think that they ever told lies. 
They were very much pleased, and waved their hands and 
stroked their beards repeatedly. Before they told me any- 
thing they begged and prayed that I would not inform the 
Japanese Government that they had told me of their customs, 
or harm might come to them ! 

For the next two hours, and for two more after supper, I 
asked them questions concerning their religion and customs, 
and again yesterday for a considerable time, and this morning, 
after Benri's return, I went over the same subjects with him, 
and have also employed a considerable time in getting about 
300 words from them, which I have spelt phonetically of 
course, and intend to go over again when I visit the coast 
Ainos. 1 

The process was slow, as both question and answer had 
to pass through three languages. There was a very manifest 
desire to tell the truth, and I think that their statements con- 
cerning their few and simple customs may be relied upon. I 
shall give what they told me separately when I have time to 
write out my notes in an orderly manner. I can only say that 
I have seldom spent a more interesting evening. 

About nine the stew was ready, and the women ladled it 
into lacquer bowls with wooden spoons. The men were served 
first, but all ate together. Afterwards sake, their curse, was 
poured into lacquer bowls, and across each bowl a finely-carved 
"sake-stick" was laid. These sticks are veiy highly prized. 
The bowls were waved several times with an inward motion, 
then each man took his stick and, dipping it into the sake, 
made six libations to the fire and several to the " god " a 
wooden post, with a quantity of spiral white shavings falling 
from near the top. The Ainos are not affected by sake nearly 
so easily as the Japanese. They took it cold, it is true, but 
each drank about three times as much as would have made a 

1 I went over them with the Ainos of a remote village on Volcano Bay, 
and found the differences in pronunciation very slight, except that the definite- 
ness of the sound which I have represented by Tsch was more strongly 
marked. I afterwards went over them with Mr. Dening, and with Mr. Von 
Siebold at T6kiyd, who have made a larger collection of words trwi I have, 
and it is satisfactory to find that we have represented the words in the main 
by the same letters, with the single exception that usually the sound repre- 
sented by them by the letters ch I have given as Tsch, and 1 venture to think 
that this is the most correct rendering. 


Japanese foolish, and it had no effect upon them. After two 
hours more talk one after another got up and went out, making 
profuse salutations to me and to the others. My candles had 
been forgotten, and our seance was held by the fitful light of 
the big logs on the fire, aided by a succession of chips of birch 
bark, with which a woman replenished a cleft stick that was 
stuck into the fire-hole. I never saw such a strangely pictur- 
esque sight as that group of magnificent savages with the fitful 
firelight on their faces, and for adjuncts the flare of the torch, 
the strong lights, the blackness of the recesses of the room and 
of the roof, at one end of which the stars looked in, and the 
row of savage women in the background eastern savagery and 
western civilisation met in this hut, savagery giving and 
civilisation receiving, the yellow-skinned Ito the connecting- 
link between the two, and the representative of a civilisation 
to which our own is but an " infant of days." 

I found it very exciting, and when all had left crept out 
into the starlight The lodges were all dark and silent, and 
the dogs, mild like their masters, took no notice of me. The 
only sound was the rustle of a light breeze through the sur- 
rounding forest. The verse came into my mind, " It is not 
the will of your Father which is in heaven that one of these 
little ones should perish." Surely these simple savages are 
children, as children to be judged; may we not hope as 
children to be saved through Him who came " not to judge 
the world, but to save the world "? 

I crept back again and into my mosquito net, and suffered 
not from fleas or mosquitoes, but from severe cold. Shinondi 
conversed with Ito for some time in a low musical voice, 
having previously asked if it would keep me from sleeping. 
No Japanese ever intermitted his ceaseless chatter at any hour 
of the night for a similar reason. Later, the chief's principal 
wife, Noma, stuck a triply-cleft stick in the fire-hole, put a 
potsherd with a wick and some fish-oil upon it, and by the 
dim light of this rude lamp sewed until midnight at a garment 
of bark cloth which she was ornamenting for her lord with 
strips of blue cloth, and when I opened my eyes the next 
morning she was at the window sewing by the earliest day- 
light She is the most intelligent-looking of all the women, 
but looks sad and almost stem, and speaks seldom. Although 


she is the principal wife of the chief she is not happy, for she 
is childless, and I thought that her sad look darkened into 
something evil as the other wife caressed a fine baby boy. 
Benri seems to me something of a brute, and the mother-in- 
law obviously holds the reins of government pretty tight. 
After sewing till midnight she swept the mats with a bunch of 
twigs, and then crept into her bed behind a hanging mat. 
For a moment in the stillness I felt a feeling of panic, as if I 
were incurring a risk by being alone among savages, but I 
conquered it, and, after watching the fire till it went out, 
fell asleep till I was awoke by the severe cold of the next 
day's dawn. 


LETTER XXXVI. (Continued) 

A Supposed Act of Worship Parental Tenderness Morning Visits 
Wretched Cultivation Honesty and Generosity A "Dug-out " Female 
Occupations The Ancient Fate A New Arrival A Perilous Prescrip- 
tion The Shrine of Yoshitsung The Chief's Return. 

WHEN I crept from under my net much benumbed with cold, 
there were about eleven people in the room, who all made 
their graceful salutation. It did not seem as if they had ever 
heard of washing, for, when water was asked for, Shinondi 
brought a little in a lacquer bowl, and held it while I bathed 
my face and hands, supposing the performance to be an act 
of worship ! I was about to throw some cold tea out of the 
window by my bed when he arrested me with an anxious face, 
and I saw, what I had not observed before, that there was a 
god at that window a stick with festoons of shavings hanging 
from it, and beside it a dead bird. The Ainos have two 
meals a day, and their breakfast was a repetition of the pre- 
vious night's supper. We all ate together, and I gave the 
children the remains of my rice, and it was most amusing to 
see little creatures of three, four, and five years old, with no 
other clothing than a piece of pewter hanging round their 
necks, first formally asking leave of the parents before taking 
the rice, and then waving their hands. The obedience of 
the children is instantaneous. Their parents are more de- 
monstrative in their affection than the Japanese are, caressing 
them a good deal, and two of the men are devoted to children 
who are not their own. These little ones are as grave and 
dignified as Japanese children, and are very gentle. 

I went out soon after five, when the dew was glittering in 
the sunshine, and the mountain hollow in which Biratori stands 
was looking its very best, and the silence of the place, eveo 


though the people were all astir, was as impressive as that of the 
night before. What a strange life I knowing nothing, hoping 
nothing, fearing a little, the need for clothes and food the 
one motive principle, saki in abundance the one good ! 
How very few points of contact it is possible to have ! I 
was just thinking so when Shinondi met me, and took me to 
his house to see if I could do anything for a child sorely 
afflicted with skin disease, and his extreme tenderness for 
this very loathsome object made me feel that human affections 
were the same among them as with us. He had carried it on 
his back from a village, five miles distant, that morning, in 
the hope that it might be cured. As soon as I entered he 
laid a fine mat on the floor, and covered the guest-seat with 
a bearskin. After breakfast he took me to the lodge of the 
sub-chief, the largest in the village, 45 feet square, and into 
about twenty others all constructed in the same way, but some 
of them were not more than 20 feet square. In all I was 
received with the same courtesy, but a few of the people asked 
Shinondi not to take me into their houses, as they did not 
want me to see how poor they are. In every house there was 
the low shelf with more or fewer curios upon it, but, besides 
these, none but the barest necessaries of life, though the skins 
which they sell or barter every year would enable them to 
surround themselves with comforts, were it not that their gains 
represent to them sakt, and nothing else. They are not 
nomads. On the contrary, they cling tenaciously to the sites 
on which their fathers have lived and died. But anything 
more deplorable than the attempts at cultivation which sur- 
round their lodges could not be seen. The soil is little 
better than white sand, on which without manure they 
attempt to grow millet, which is to them in the place of rice, 
pumpkins, onions, and tobacco ; but the look of their plots 
is as if they had been cultivated ten years ago, and some 
chance-sown grain and vegetables had come up among the 
weeds. When nothing more will grow, they partially clear 
another bit of forest, and exhaust that in its turn. 

In every house the same honour was paid to a guest. 
This seems a savage virtue which is not strong enough to sur- 
vive much contact with civilisation. Before I entered one 
lodge the woman brought several of the finer mats, and ar- 


ranged them as a pathway for me to walk to the fire upon. 
They will not accept anything for lodging, or for anything that 
they give, so I was anxious to help them by buying some 
of their handiwork, but found even this a difficult matter. 
They were very anxious to give, but when I desired to buy 
they said they did not wish to part with their things. I 
wanted what they had in actual use, such as a tobacco-box 
and pipe-sheath, and knives with carved handles and scab- 
bards, and for three of these I offered z\ dollars. They said 
they did not care to sell them, but in the evening they came 
saying they were not worth more than i dollar 10 cents, and 
they would sell them for that ; and I could not get them to 
take more. They said it was " not their custom." I bought 
a bow and three poisoned arrows, two reed-mats, with a 
diamond pattern on them in reeds stained red, some knives 
with sheaths, and a bark cloth dress. I tried to buy the sakt- 
sticks with which they make libations to their gods, but they 
said it was " not their custom " to part with the sa&e-stick of 
any living man ; however, this morning Shinondi has brought 
me, as a very valuable present, the stick of a dead man ! 
This morning the man who sold the arrows brought two new 
ones, to replace two which were imperfect. I found them, as 
Mr. Von Siebold had done, punctiliously honest in all their 
transactions. They wear very large earrings with hoops an 
inch and a half in diameter, a pair constituting the dowry of 
an Aino bride ; but they would not part with these. 

A house was burned down two nights ago, and " custom " 
in such a case requires that all the men should work at re- 
building it, so in their absence I got two boys to take me in 
a " dug-out " as far as we could go up the Sarufutogawa a 
lovely river, which winds tortuously through the forests and 
mountains in unspeakable loveliness. I had much of the 
feeling of the ancient mariner 

"We were the first 
Who ever burst 

Into that silent sea." 

For certainly no European had ever previously floated on the 
dark and forest -shrouded waters. I enjoyed those hours 
thoroughly, for the silence was profound, and the faint blue 




of the autumn sky, and the soft blue veil which " spiritualised " 
the distances, were so exquisitely like the Indian summer. 

The evening was spent like the previous one, but the 
hearts of the savages were sad, for there was no more sake in 



Biraiori, so they could not " drink to the god," and the fire 
and the post with the shavings had to go without libations. 
There was no more oil, so after the strangers retired the hut 
was in complete darkness. 

Yesterday morning we all breakfasted soon after daylight, 
and the able-bodied men went away to hunt. Hunting and 
fishing are their occupations, and for " indoor recreation " they 


carve tobacco-boxes, knife -sheaths, sake- sticks, and shuttles. 
It is quite unnecessary for them to do anything ; they are quite 
contented to sit by the fire, and smoke occasionally, and eat 
and sleep, this apathy being varied by spasms of activity when 
there is no more dried flesh in the kuras, and when skins 
must be taken to Sarufuto to pay for sakL The women seem 
never to have an idle moment. They rise early to sew, weave, 
and split bark, for they not only clothe themselves and their 
husbands in this nearly indestructible cloth, but weave it for 
barter, and the lower class of Japanese are constantly to be 
seen wearing the product of Aino industry. They do all the 
hard work, such as drawing water, chopping wood, grinding 
millet, and cultivating the soil, after their fashion ; but, to do 
the men justice, I often see them trudging along carrying one 
and even two children. The women take the exclusive charge 
of the kuras, which are never entered by men. 

I was left for some hours alone with the women, of whom 
there were seven in the hut, with a few children. On the one 
side of the fire the chief's mother sat like a Fate, for ever 
splitting and knotting bark, and petrifying me by her cold, 
fateful eyes. Her thick, grey hair hangs in shocks, the 
tattooing round her mouth has nearly faded, and no longer 
disguises her really handsome features. She is dressed in a 
much ornamented bark-cloth dress, and wears two silver beads 
tied round her neck by a piece of blue cotton, in addition to 
very large earrings. She has much sway in the house, sitting 
on the men's side of the fire, drinking plenty of sake, and 
occasionally chiding her grandson Shinondi for telling me too 
much, saying that it will bring harm to her people. Though 
her expression is so severe and forbidding, she is certainly 
very handsome, and it is a European, not an Asiatic, beauty. 

The younger women were all at work ; two were seated 
on the floor weaving without a loom, and the others were 
making and mending the bark coats which are worn by both 
sexes. Noma, the chief's principal wife, sat apart, seldom 
speaking. Two of the youngest women are very pretty as 
fair as ourselves, and their comeliness is of the rosy, peasant 
kind. It turns out that two of them, though they would not 
divulge it before men, speak Japanese, and they prattled to 
Ito with great vivacity and merriment, the ancient Fate 

LETTER xxxvi.] A NEW ARRIVAL. 249 

scowling at them the while from under her shaggy eyebrows. 
I got a number of words from them, and they laughed heartily 
at my erroneous pronunciation. They even asked me a num- 
ber of questions regarding their own sex among ourselves, 
but few of these would bear repetition, and they answered a 
number of mine. As the merriment increased the old woman 
looked increasingly angry and restless, and at last rated them 
sharply, as I have heard since, telling them that if they spoke 
another word she should tell their husbands that they had 
been talking to strangers. After this not another word was 
spoken, and Noma, who is an industrious housewife, boiled 
some millet into a mash for a mid-day lunch. During the 
afternoon a very handsome young Aino, with a washed, richly- 
coloured skin and fine clear eyes, came up from the coast, 
where he had been working at the fishing. He saluted the 
old woman and Benri's wife on entering, and presented the 
former with a gourd of sak'e> bringing a greedy light into her 
eyes as she took a long draught, after which, saluting me, he 
threw himself down in the place of honour by the fire, with 
the easy grace of a staghound, a savage all over. His name 
is Pipichari, and he is the chiefs adopted son. He had cut 
his foot badly with a root, and asked me to cure it, and I 
stipulated that it should be bathed for some time in warm 
water before anything more was done, after which I bandaged 
it with lint. He said " he did not like me to touch his foot, 
it was not clean enough, my hands were too white," etc. ; but 
when I had dressed it, and the pain was much relieved, 
he bowed very low and then kissed my hand ! He was the 
only one among them all who showed the slightest curiosity 
regarding my things. He looked at my scissors, touched my 
boots, and watched me, as I wrote, with the simple curiosity 
of a child. He could speak a little Japanese, but he said he 
was "too young to tell me anything, the older men would 
know." He is a " total abstainer " from sakt, and he says that 
there are four such besides himself among the large number 
of Ainos who are just now at the fishing at Mombets, and 
that the others keep separate from them, because they think 
that the gods will be angry with them for not drinking. 

Several " patients," mostly children, were brought in during 
the afternoon. Ito was much disgusted by my interest in 


these people, who, he repeated, "are just dogs," referring to 
their legendary origin, of which they are not ashamed. His 
assertion that they have learned politeness from the Japanese 
is simply baseless. Their politeness, though of quite another 
and more manly stamp, is savage, not civilised. The men 
came back at dark, the meal was prepared, and we sat round 
the fire as before ; but there was no sate, except in the 
possession of the old woman ; and again the hearts of the 
savages were sad. I could multiply instances of their polite- 
ness. As we were talking, Pipichari, who is a very " untutored " 
savage, dropped his coat from one shoulder, and at once 
Shinondi signed to him to put it on again. Again, a woman 
was sent to a distant village for some oil as soon as they 
heard that I usually burned a light all night. Little acts of 
courtesy were constantly being performed ; but I really ap- 
preciated nothing more than the quiet way in which they went 
on with the routine of their ordinary lives. 

During the evening a man came to ask if I would go and 
see a woman who could hardly breathe ; and I found her very 
ill of bronchitis, accompanied with much fever. She was lying 
in a coat of skins, tossing on the hard boards of her bed, with 
a matting-covered roll under her head, and her husband was 
trying to make her swallow some salt-fish. I took her dry, 
hot hand such a small hand, tattooed all over the back and 
it gave me a strange thrill The room was full of people, and 
they all seemed very sorry. A medical missionary would be 
of little use here ; but a medically-trained nurse, who would 
give medicines and proper food, with proper nursing, would 
save many lives and much suffering. It is of no use to tell 
these people to do anything which requires to be done more 
than once : they are just like children. I gave her some 
chlorodyne, which she swallowed with difficulty, and left 
another dose ready mixed, to give her in a few hours ; but 
about midnight they came to tell me that she was worse ; and 
on going I found her very cold and weak, and breathing very 
hard, moving her head wearily from side to side. I thought 
she could not live for many hours, and was much afraid that 
they would think that I had killed her. I told them that I 
thought she would die ; but they urged me to do something 
more for her, and as a last hope I gave her some brandy, 


with twenty-five drops of chlorodyne, and a few spoonfuls of 
very strong beef-tea. She was unable, or more probably un- 
willing, to make the effort to swallow it, and I poured it down 
her throat by the wild glare of strips of birch bark. An hour 
later they came back to tell me that she felt as if she were very 
drunk ; but, going back to her house, I found that she was 
sleeping quietly, and breathing more easily; and, creeping 
back just at dawn, I found her still sleeping, and with her 
pulse stronger and calmer. She is now decidedly better and 
quite sensible, and her husband, the sub-chief, is much 
delighted. It seems so sad that they have nothing fit for a 
sick person's food ; and though I have made a bowl of beef- 
tea with the remains of my stock, it can only last one day. 

I was so tired with these nocturnal expeditions and 
anxieties that on lying down I fell asleep, and on waking 
found more than the usual assemblage in the room, and the 
men were obviously agog about something. They have a 
singular, and I hope an unreasonable, fear of the Japanese 
Government Mr. Von Siebold thinks that the officials 
threaten and knock them about ; and this is possible ; but I 
really think that the Kaitaikushi Department means well by 
them, and, besides removing the oppressive restrictions by 
which, as a conquered race, they were fettered, treats them far 
more humanely and equitably than the U.S. Government, for 
instance, treats the North American Indians. However, they 
are ignorant ; and one of the men, who had been most grateful 
because I said I would get Dr. Hepburn to send some 
medicine for his child, came this morning and begged me not 
to do so, as, he said, "the Japanese Government would be 
angry." After this they again prayed me not to tell the 
Japanese Government that they had told me their customs ; 
and then they began to talk earnestly together. 

The sub-chief then spoke, and said that I had been kind 
to their sick people, and they would like to show me their 
temple, which had never been seen by any foreigner; but 
they were very much afraid of doing so, and they asked me 
many times " not to tell the Japanese Government that they 
showed it to me, lest some great harm should happen to them." 
The sub-chief put on a sleeveless Japanese war-cloak to go up, 
and he, Shinondi, Pipichari, and two others accompanied me. 


It was a beautiful but very steep walk, or rather climb, to the 
top of an abrupt acclivity beyond the village, on which the 
temple or shrine stands. It would be impossible to get up 
were it not for the remains of a wooden staircase, not of Aino 
construction. Forest and mountain surround Biratori, and 
the only breaks in the dense greenery are glints of the shining 
waters of the Sarufutogawa, and the tawny roofs of the Aino 
lodges. It is a lonely and a silent land, fitter for the hiding 
place than the dwelling place of men. 

When the splendid young savage, Pipichari, saw that I 
found it difficult to get up, he took my hand and helped me 
up, as gently as an English gentleman would have done ; and 
when he saw that I had greater difficulty in getting down, he 
all but insisted on my riding down on his back, and certainly 
would have carried me had not Benri, the chief, who arrived 
while we were at the shrine, made an end of it by taking my 
hand and helping me down himself. Their instinct of help- 
fulness to a foreign woman strikes me as so odd, because they 
never show any courtesy to their own women, whom they treat 
(though to a less extent than is usual among savages) as inferior 

On the very edge of the cliff, at the top of the zigzag, 
stands a wooden temple or shrine, such as one sees in any 
grove, or on any high place on the main island, obviously of 
Japanese construction, but concerning which Aino tradition is 
silent. No European had ever stood where I stood, and there 
was a solemnity in the knowledge. The sub-chief drew back 
the sliding doors, and all bowed with much reverence. It 
was a simple shrine of unlacquered wood, with a broad shelf 
at the back, on which there was a small shrine containing a 
figure of the historical hero Yoshitsune', in a suit of inlaid brass 
armour, some metal gohei, a pair of tarnished brass candle- 
sticks, and a coloured Chinese picture representing a junk. 
Here, then, I was introduced to the great god of the mountain 
Ainos. There is something very pathetic in these people 
keeping alive the memory of Yoshitsune', not on account of 
his martial exploits, but simply because their tradition tells 
them that he was kind to them. They pulled the bell three 
times to attract his attention, bowed three times, and made 
six libations of sakt, without which ceremony he cannot be 


approached. They asked me to worship their god, but when 
I declined on the ground that I could only worship my own 
God, the Lord of Earth and Heaven, of the dead and of the 
living, they were too courteous to press their request. As to 
Ito, it did not signify to him whether or not he added another 
god to his already crowded Pantheon, and he " worshipped," 
i.e. bowed down, most willingly before the great hero of his 
own, the conquering race. 

While we were crowded there on the narrow ledge of the 
cliff, Benri, the chief, arrived a square-built, broad-shouldered, 
elderly man, strong as an ox, and very handsome, but his 
expression is not pleasing, and his eyes are bloodshot with 
drinking. The others saluted him very respectfully, but I 
noticed then and since that his manner is very arbitrary, and 
that a blow not infrequently follows a word. He had sent a 
message to his people by Ito that they were not to answer 
any questions till he returned, but Ito very tactfully neither 
gave it nor told me of it, and he was displeased with the young 
men for having talked to me so much. His mother had 
evidently " peached." I like him less than any of his tribe. 
He has some fine qualities, truthfulness among others, but he 
has been contaminated by the four or five foreigners that he 
has seen, and is a brute and a sot The hearts of his people 
are no longer sad, for there is saki in every house to-night. 

I. L. R 



Barrenness of Savage Life Irreclaimable Savages The Aino Physique 
Female Comeliness Torture and Ornament Child Life Docility and 

BIRATORI, YEZO, August 24. 

I EXPECTED to have written out my notes on the Ainos in the 
comparative quiet and comfort of Sarufuto, but the delay in 
Benri's return, and the non-arrival of the horses, have com- 
pelled me to accept Aino hospitality for another night, which 
Involves living on tea and potatoes, for my stock of food is 
exhausted. In some respects I am glad to remain longer, as 
it enables me to go over my stock of words, as well as my 
notes, with the chief, who is intelligent, and it is a pleasure to 
find that his statements confirm those which have been made 
by the young men. The glamour which at first disguises the 
inherent barrenness of savage life has had time to pass away, 
and I see it in all its nakedness as a life not much raised 
above the necessities of animal existence, timid, monotonous, 
barren of good, dark, dull, "without hope, and without God 
in the world;" though at its lowest and worst considerably 
higher and better than that of many other aboriginal races, 
and must I say it ? considerably higher and better than that 
of thousands of the lapsed masses of our own great cities who 
are baptized into Christ's name, and are laid at last in holy 
ground, inasmuch as the Ainos are truthful, and, on the whole, 
chaste, hospitable, honest, reverent, and kind to the aged. 
Drinking, their great vice, is not, as among us, in antagonism 
to their religion, but is actually a part of it, and as such would 
be exceptionally difficult to eradicate. 

The early darkness has once again come on, and once 
again the elders have assembled round the fire in two long 


lines, with the younger men at the ends, Pipichari, who yester- 
day sat in the place of honour and was helped to food first 
as the newest arrival, taking his place as the youngest at the 
end of the right-hand row. The birch-bark chips beam with 
fitful glare, the evening saki bowls are filled, the fire-god and the 
garlanded god receive their libations, the ancient woman, still 
sitting like a Fate, splits bark, and the younger women knot 
it, and the log-fire lights up as magnificent a set of venerable 
heads as painter or sculptor would desire to see, heads, full 
of what ? They have no history, their traditions are scarcely 
worthy the name, they claim descent from a dog, their houses 
and persons swarm with vermin, they are sunk in the grossest 
ignorance, they have no letters or any numbers above a 
thousand, they are clothed in the bark of trees and the 
untanned skins of beasts, they worship the bear, the sun, 
moon, fire, water, and I know not what, they are uncivilisable 
and altogether irreclaimable savages, yet they are attractive, 
and in some ways fascinating, and I hope I shall never forget 
the music of their low, sweet voices, the soft light of their 
mild, brown eyes, and the wonderful sweetness of their smile. 

After the yellow skins, the stiff horse hair, the feeble eye- 
lids, the elongated eyes, the sloping eyebrows, the flat noses, 
the sunken chests, the Mongolian features, the puny physique, 
the shaky walk of the men, the restricted totter of the 
women, and the general impression of degeneracy conveyed 
by the appearance of the Japanese, the Ainos make a very 
singular impression. All but two or three that I have seen 
are the most ferocious-looking of savages, with a physique 
vigorous enough for carrying out the most ferocious intentions, 
but as soon as they speak the countenance brightens into a 
smile as gentle as that of a woman, something which can 
never be forgotten. 

The men are about the middle height, broad-chested, 
broad-shouldered, "thick set," very strongly built, the arms 
and legs short, thick, and muscular, the hands and feet large. 
The bodies, and specially the limbs, of many are covered with 
short bristly hair. I have seen two boys whose backs are 
covered with fur as fine and soft as that of a cat. The heads 
and faces are very striking. The foreheads are very high, 
broad, and prominent, and at first sight give one the impres- 



sion of an unusual capacity for intellectual development ; the 
ears are small and set low ; the noses are straight but short, 
and broad at the nostrils ; the mouths are wide but well 
formed j and the lips rarely show a tendency to fulness. The 
neck is short, the cranium rounded, the cheek-bones low, and 
the lower part of the face is small as compared with the upper, 
the peculiarity called a "jowl" being unknown. The eye- 
brows are full, and form a straight line nearly across the face. 
The eyes are large, tolerably deeply set, and very beautiful, 
the colour a rich liquid brown, the expression singularly soft, 
and the eyelashes long, silky, and abundant The skin has 
the Italian olive tint, but in most cases is thin, and light 
enough to show the changes of colour in the cheek. The 
teeth are small, regular, and very white ; the incisors and " eye 
teeth " are not disproportionately large, as is usually the case 
among the Japanese ; there is no tendency towards prognath- 
ism; and the fold of integument which conceals the upper 
eyelids of the Japanese is never to be met with. The features, 
expression, and aspect, are European rather than Asiatic. 

The " ferocious savagery " of the appearance of the men is 
produced by a profusion of thick, soft, black hair, divided in 
the middle, and falling in heavy masses nearly to the shoulders. 
Out of doors it is kept from falling over the face by a fillet 
round the brow. The beards are equally profuse, quite 
magnificent, and generally wavy, and in the case of the old 
men they give a truly patriarchal and venerable aspect, in 
spite of the yellow tinge produced by smoke and want of 
cleanliness. The savage look produced by the masses of hair 
and beard, and the thick eyebrows, is mitigated by the softness 
in the dreamy brown eyes, and is altogether obliterated by the 
exceeding sweetness of the smile, which belongs in greater or 
less degree to all the rougher sex. 

I have measured the height of thirty of the adult men of 
this village, and it ranges from 5 feet 4 inches to 5 feet 6 
inches. The circumference of the heads averages 22*1 inches, 
and the arc, from ear to ear, 13 inches. According to Mr. 
Davies, the average weight of the Aino adult masculine brain, 
ascertained by measurement of Aino skulls, is 45*90 ounces 
avoirdupois, a brain weight said to exceed that of all the races, 
Hindoo and Mussulman, on the Indian plains, and that of 



the aboriginal races of India and Ceylon, and is only paralleled 
by that of the races of the Himalayas, the Siamese, and the 
Chinese Burmese. Mr. Davies says, further, that it exceeds 


the mean brain weight of Asiatic races in general. Yet with 
all this the Ainos are a stupid people ! 

Passing travellers who have seen a few of the Aino women 
on the road to Satsuporo speak of them as very ugly, but as 
making amends for their ugliness by their industry and con- 
jugal fidelity. Of the latter there is no doubt, but I am not 


disposed to admit the former. The ugliness is certainly due 
to art and dirt. The Aino women seldom exceed five feet 
and half an inch in height, but they are beautifully formed, 
straight, lithe, and well-developed, with small feet and hands, 
well-arched insteps, rounded limbs, well-developed busts, and 
a firm, elastic gait. Their heads and faces are small ; but the 
hair, which falls in masses on each side of the face like that of 
the men, is equally redundant. They have superb teeth, and 
display them liberally in smiling. Their mouths are somewhat 
wide, but well formed, and they have a ruddy comeliness 
about them which is pleasing, in spite of the disfigurement of 
the band which is tattooed both above and below the mouth, 
and which, by being united at the corners, enlarges its apparent 
size and width. A girl at Shiraoi, who, for some reason, has 
not been subjected to this process, is the most beautiful creature 
in features, colouring, and natural grace of form, that I have 
seen for a long time. Their complexions are lighter than 
those of the men. There are not many here even as dark as 
our European brunettes. A few unite the eyebrows by a 
streak of tattooing, so as to produce a straight line. Like the 
men, they cut their hair short for two or three inches above 
the nape of the neck, but instead of using a fillet they take 
two locks from the front and tie them at the back. 

They are universally tattooed, not only with the broad 
band above and below the mouth, but with a band across the 
knuckles, succeeded by an elaborate pattern on the back of 
the hand, and a series of bracelets extending to the elbow. 
The process of disfigurement begins at the age of five, when 
some of the sufferers are yet unweaned. I saw the operation 
performed on a dear little bright girl this morning. A woman 
took a large knife with a sharp edge, and rapidly cut several 
horizontal lines on the upper lip, following closely the curve 
of the very pretty mouth, and before the slight bleeding had 
ceased carefully rubbed in some of the shiny soot which 
collects on the mat above the fire. In two or three days the 
scarred lip will be washed with the decoction of the bark of a 
tree to fix the pattern, and give it that blue look which makes 
many people mistake it for a daub of paint A child who 
had this second process performed yesterday has her lip 
fearfully swollen and inflamed. The latest victim held her 



hands clasped tightly together while the cuts were inflicted, 
but never cried. The pattern on the lips is deepened and 
widened every year up to the time of marriage, and the circles 
on the arm are extended in a similar way. The men cannot 
give any reason for the universality of this custom. It is an 
old custom, they say, and part of their 
religion, and no woman could marry 
without it. Benri fancies that the 
Japanese custom of blackening the 
teeth is equivalent to it ; but he is 
mistaken, as that ceremony usually 
succeeds marriage. They begin to 
tattoo the arms when a girl is five or 
six, and work from the elbow down- 
wards. They expressed themselves as 
very much grieved and tormented by 
the recent prohibition of tattooing. 
They say the gods will be angry, and 
that the women can't marry unless 
they are tattooed ; and they implored 
both Mr. Von Siebold and me to in- 
tercede with the Japanese Government 
on their behalf in this respect. They 
are less apathetic on this than on any 
subject, and repeat frequently, " It's 
a part of our religion." 

The children are very pretty and 
attractive, and their faces give promise 
of an intelligence which is lacking in 
those of the adults. They are much 
loved, and are caressing as well as 
TATTOOED FEMALE HAND, caressed. The infants of the mount- 
ain Ainos have seeds of millet put 

into their mouths as soon as they are born, and those of 
the coast Ainos a morsel of salt-fish ; and whatever be the 
hour of birth, " custom " requires that they shall not be fed 
until a night has passed. They are not weaned until they are 
at least three years old. Boys are preferred to girls, but both 
are highly valued, and a childless wife may be divorced. 
Children do not receive names till they are four or five years 


old, and then the father chooses a name by which his child is 
afterwards known. Young children when they travel are either 
carried on their mothers' backs in a net, or in the back of the 
loose garment; but in both cases the weight is mainly supported 
by a broad band which passes round the woman's forehead. 
When men carry them they hold them in their arms. The 
hair of very young children is shaven, and from about five to 
fifteen the boys wear either a large tonsure or tufts above the 
ears, while the girls are allowed to grow hair all over their 

Implicit and prompt obedience is required from infancy ; 
and from a very early age the children are utilised by being 
made to fetch and carry and go on messages. I have seen 
children apparently not more than two years old sent for 
wood ; and even at this age they are so thoroughly trained in 
the observances of etiquette that babies just able to walk never 
toddle into or out of this house without formal salutations to 
each person within it, the me "her alone excepted. They don't 
wear any clothing till they are seven or eight years old, and 
are then dressed like their elders. Their manners to their 
parents are very affectionate. Even to-day, in the chief's awe- 
inspiring presence, one dear little nude creature, who had been 
sitting quietly for two hours staring into the fire with her big 
brown eyes, rushed to meet her mother when she entered, and 
threw her arms round her, to which the woman responded by 
a look of true maternal tenderness and a kiss. These little 
creatures, in the absolute unconsciousness of innocence, with 
their beautiful faces, olive-tinted bodies, all the darker, sad 
to say, from dirt, their perfect docility, and absence of prying 
curiosity, are very bewitching. They all wear silver or pewter 
ornaments tied round their necks by a wisp of blue cotton. 

Apparently the ordinary infantile maladies, such as whoop- 
ing-cough and measles, do not afflict the Ainos fatally; but 
the children suffer from a cutaneous affection, which wears off 
as they reach the age of ten or eleven years, as well as from 
severe toothache with their first teeth. 


LETTER XXXVIL (Continued.} 

Aino Clothing Holiday Dress Domestic Architecture Household Gods 
Japanese Curios The Necessaries of Life Clay Soup Arrow Poison 
Arrow-Traps Female Occupations Bark Cloth The Art of Weaving. 

AINO clothing, for savages, is exceptionally good. In the 
winter it consists of one, two, or more coats of skins, with 
hoods of the same, to which the men add rude moccasins 
when they go out hunting. In summer they wear kimonos^ or 
loose coats, made of cloth woven from the split bark of a 
forest tree. This is a durable and beautiful fabric in various 
shades of natural buff, and somewhat resembles what is known 
to fancy workers as " Panama canvas." Under this a skin or 
bark-cloth vest may or may not be worn. The men wear 
these coats reaching a little below the knees, folded over from 
right to left, and confined at the waist by a narrow girdle of 
the same cloth, to which is attached a rude, dagger-shaped 
knife, with a carved and engraved wooden handle and sheath. 
Smoking is by no means a general practice ; consequently the 
pipe and tobacco-box are not, as with the Japanese, a part of 
ordinary male attire. Tightly-fitting leggings, either of bark- 
cloth or skin, are worn by both sexes, but neither shoes nor 
sandals. The coat worn by the women reaches half-way be- 
tween the knees and ankles, and is quite loose and without a 
girdle. It is fastened the whole way up to the collar-bone ; 
and not only is the Aino woman completely covered, but she 
will not change one garment for another except alone or in 
the dark. Lately a Japanese woman at Sarufuto took an Aino 
woman into her house, and insisted on her taking a bath, 
which she absolutely refused to do till the bath-house had been 
made quite private by means of screens. On the Japanese 


woman going back a little later to see what had become of her. 
she found her sitting in the water in her ck f hes ; and on being 
remonstrated with, she said that the gods -vould be angry if 
they saw her without clothes ! 

Many of the garments for holiday occasions are exceedingly 
handsome, being decorated with "geometrical" patterns, in 
which the "Greek fret" takes part, in coarse blue cotton, 
braided most dexterously with scarlet and white thread. Some 
of the handsomest take half a year to make. The masculine 
dress is completed by an apron of oblong shape decorated in 
the same elaborate manner. These handsome savages, with 
their powerful physique, look remarkably well in their best 
clothes. I have not seen a boy or girl above nine who is not 
thoroughly clothed. The " jewels " of the women are large, 
hoop earrings of silver or pewter, with attachments of a class- 
ical pattern, and silver neck ornaments, and a few have brass 
bracelets soldered upon their arms. The women have a 
perfect passion for every hue of red, and I have made friends 
with them by dividing among them a large turkey-red silk 
handkerchief, strips of which are already being utilised for the 
ornamenting of coats. 

The houses in the five villages up here are very good. So 
they are at Horobets, but at Shiraoi, where the aborigines 
suffer from the close proximity of several grog shops, they are 
inferior. They differ in many ways from any that I have 
before seen, approaching most nearly to the grass houses of 
the natives of Hawaii Custom does not appear to permit 
either of variety or innovations ; in all the style is the same, 
and the difference consists in the size and plenishings. The 
dwellings seem ill-fitted for a rigorous climate, but the same 
thing may be said of those of the Japanese. In their houses, 
as in their faces, the Ainos are more European than their con- 
querors, as they possess doorways, windows, central fireplaces, 
like those of the Highlanders of Scotland, and raised sleeping- 

The usual appearance is that of a small house built on at 
the end of a larger one. The small house is the vestibule or 
ante-room, and is entered by a low doorway screened by a 
heavy mat of reeds. It contains the large wooden mortar and 
pestle with two ends, used for pounding millet, a wooden re- 


ceptacle for millet, r ",ts or hunting gear, and some bundles of 
reeds for repairing ' jof or walls. This room never contains a 
window. From it - he large room is entered by a doorway, over 
which a heavy reed-mat, bound with hide, invariably hangs. 
This room in Benri's case is 35 feet long by 25 feet broad, 
another is 45 feet square, the smallest measures 20 feet by 
15. On entering, one is much impressed by the great height 
and steepness of the roof, altogether out of proportion to the 
height of the walls. 

The frame of the house is of posts, 4 feet 10 inches high, 
placed 4 feet apart, and sloping slightly inwards. The height 
of the walls is apparently regulated by that of the reeds, of 
which only one length is used, and which never exceed 4 feet 
i o inches. The posts are scooped at the top, and heavy poles, 
resting on the scoops, are laid along them to form the top of 
the wall The posts are again connected twice by slighter 
poles tied on horizontally. The wall is double ; the outer part 
being formed of reeds tied very neatly to the framework in 
small, regular bundles, the inner layer or wall being made of 
reeds attached singly. From the top of the pole, which is 
secured to the top of the posts, the framework of the roof rises 
to a height of twenty-two feet, made, like the rest, of poles 
tied to a heavy and roughly-hewn ridge-beam. At one end 
under the ridge-beam there is a large triangular aperture for 
the exit of smoke. Two very stout, roughly-hewn beams 
cross the width of the house, resting on the posts of the wall, 
and on props let into the floor, and a number of poles are laid at 
the same height, by means of which a secondary roof formed 
of mats can be at once extemporised, but this is only used for 
guests. These poles answer the same purpose as shelves. 
Very great care is bestowed upon the outside of the roof, which 
is a marvel of neatness and prettiness, and has the appearance 
of a series of frills being thatched in ridges. The ridge-pole 
is very thickly covered, and the thatch both there and at the 
corners is elaborately laced with a pattern in strong peeled 
twigs. The poles, which, for much of the room, run from wall 
to wall, compel one to stoop, to avoid fracturing one's skull, 
and bringing down spears, bows and arrows, arrow-traps, and 
other primitive property. The roof and rafters are black and 
shiny from wood smoke. Immediately under them, at one 


end and one side, are small, square windows, which are closed 
at night by wooden shutters, which during the day-time hang 
by ropes. Nothing is a greater insult to an Aino than to look 
in at his window. 

On the left of the doorway is invariably a fixed wooden 
platform, eighteen inches high, and covered with a single mat, 
which is the sleeping-place. The pillows are small stiff 
bolsters, covered with ornamental matting. If the family be 
large there are several of these sleeping platforms. A pole 
runs horizontally at a fitting distance above the outside edge 
of each, over which mats are thrown to conceal the sleepers 
from the rest of the room. The inside half of these mats is 
plain, but the outside, which is seen from the room, has a 
diamond pattern woven into it in dull reds and browns. The 
whole floor is covered with a very coarse reed-mat, with inter- 
stices half an inch wide. The fireplace, which is six feet long, 
is oblong. Above it, on a very black and elaborate framework, 
hangs a very black and shiny mat, whose superfluous soot 
forms the basis of the stain used in tattooing, and whose 
apparent purpose is to prevent the smoke ascending, and to 
diffuse it equally throughout the room. From this framework 
depends the great cooking-pot, which plays a most important 
part in Aino economy. 

Household gods form an essential part of the furnishing of 
every house. In this one, at the left of the entrance, there are 
ten white wands, with shavings depending from the upper end, 
stuck in the wall ; another projects from the window which 
faces the sunrise, and the great god a white post, two feet 
high, with spirals of shavings depending from the top is always 
planted in the floor, near the wall, on the left side, opposite 
the fire, between the platform bed of the householder and the 
low, broad shelf placed invariably on the same side, and which 
is a singular feature of all Aino houses, coast and mountain, 
down to the poorest, containing, as it does, Japanese curios, 
many of them very valuable objects of antique art, though 
much destroyed by damp and dust They are true curiosities 
in the dwellings of these northern aborigines, and look almost 
solemn ranged against the wall. In this house there are 
twenty-four lacquered urns, or tea-chests, or seats, each 
standing two feet high on four small legs, shod with engraved 

K 2 



or filigree brass. Behind these are eight lacquered tubs, and 
a number of bowls and lacquer trays, and above are spears 
with inlaid handles, and fine Kaga and Awata bowls. The 
lacquer is good, and several of the urns have daimiy&s crests 
in gold upon them. One urn and a large covered bowl are 
beautifully inlaid with Venus' ear. The great urns are to be 
seen in every house, and in addition there are suits of inlaid 


armour, and swords with inlaid hilts, engraved blades, and 
repoussk scabbards, for which a collector would give almost 
anything. No offers, however liberal, can tempt them to sell 
any of these antique possessions. " They were presents," they 
say in their low, musical voices; "they were presents from 
those who were kind to our fathers ; no, we cannot sell them ; 
they were presents." And so gold lacquer, and pearl inlaying, 
and gold niello work, and daimiy&s crests in gold, continue to 
gleam in the smoky darkness of their huts. Some of these 


things were doubtless gifts to their fathers when they went to 
pay tribute to the representative of the Shogun and the Prince 
of Matsumse, soon after the conquest of Yezo. Others were 

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probably gifts from samurai, who took refuge here during the 
rebellion, and some must have been obtained by barter. 
They are the one possession which they will not barter for 
saM, and are only parted with in payment of fines at the 
command of a chief, or as the dower of a girl. 


Except in the poorest houses, where the people can only 
afford to lay down a mat for a guest, they cover the coarse 
mat with fine ones on each side of the fire. These mats and 
the bark-cloth are really their only manufactures. They are 
made of fine reeds, with a pattern in dull reds or browns, and 
are 14 feet long by 3 feet 6 inches wide. It takes a woman 
eight days to make one of them. In every house there 
are one or two movable platforms 6 feet by 4 and 14 inches 
high, which are placed at the head of the fireplace, and on 
which guests sit and sleep on a bearskin or a fine mat. In 
many houses there are broad seats a few inches high, on which 
the elder men sit cross-legged, as their custom is, not squatting 
Japanese fashion on the heels. A water-tub always rests on 
a stand by the door, and the dried fish and venison or bear 
for daily use hang from the rafters, as well as a few skins. 
Besides these things there are a few absolute necessaries, 
lacquer or wooden bowls for food and sate, a chopping-board 
and rude chopping-knife, a cleft-stick for burning strips of 
birch-bark, a triply-cleft stick for supporting the potsherd in 
which, on rare occasions, they burn a wick with oil, the 
component parts of their rude loom, the bark of which they 
make their clothes, the reeds of which they make their mats, 
and the inventory of the essentials of their life is nearly com- 
plete. No iron enters into the construction of their houses, 
its place being supplied by a remarkably tenacious fibre. 

I have before described the preparation of their food, 
which usually consists of a stew "of abominable things." 
They eat salt and fresh fish, dried fish, seaweed, slugs, the 
various vegetables which grow in the wilderness of tall weeds 
which surrounds their villages, wild roots and berries, fresh 
and dried venison and bear ; their carnival consisting of fresh 
bear's flesh and sakb, seaweed, mushrooms, and anything they 
can get, in fact, which is not poisonous, mixing everything up 
together. They use a wooden spoon for stirring, and eat with 
chopsticks. They have only two regular meals a day, but eat 
very heartily. In addition to the eatables just mentioned they 
have a thick soup made from a putty-like clay which is found 
in one or two of the valleys. This is boiled with the bulb of a 
wild lily, and, after much of the clay has been allowed to settle, 
the liquid, which is very thick, is poured off. In the north, a 


valley where this earth is found is called Tsie-toi-nai, literally 
" eat-earth-valley." 

The men spend the autumn, winter, and spring in hunting 
deer and bears. Part of their tribute or taxes is paid in skins, 
and they subsist on the dried meat. Up to about this time the 
Ainos have obtained these beasts by means of poisoned arrows, 
arrow-traps, and pitfalls, but the Japanese Government has 
prohibited the use of poison and arrow-traps, and these men 
say that hunting is becoming extremely difficult, as the wild 
animals are driven back farther and farther into the mountains 
by the sound of the guns. However, they add significantly, 
"the eyes of the Japanese Government are not in every 
place I" 

Their bows are only three feet long, and are made of stout 
saplings with the bark on, and there is no attempt to render 
them light or shapely at the ends. The wood is singularly 
inelastic. The arrows (of which I have obtained a number) 
are very peculiar, and are made in three pieces, the point 
consisting of a sharpened piece of bone with an elongated 
cavity on one side for the reception of the poison. This point 
or head is very slightly fastened by a lashing of bark to a 
fusiform piece of bone about four inches long, which is in 
its turn lashed to a shaft about fourteen inches long, the other 
end of which is sometimes equipped with a triple feather and 
sometimes is not 

The poison is placed in the elongated cavity in the head 
in a very soft state, and hardens afterwards. In some of the 
arrow-heads fully half a teaspoonful of the paste is inserted. 
From the nature of the very slight lashings which attach the 
arrow-head to the shaft, it constantly remains fixed in the 
slight wound that it makes, while the shaft falls off. 

Pipichari has given me a small quantity of the poisonous 
paste, and has also taken me to see the plant from the root of 
which it is made, the Aconitum Japonicum, a monkshood, 
whose tall spikes of blue flowers are brightening the brushwood 
in all directions. The root is pounded into a pulp, mixed 
with a reddish earth like an iron ore pulverised, and again 
with animal fat, before being placed in the arrow. It has been 
said that the poison is prepared for use by being buried in the 
earth, but Benri says that this is needless. They claim for it 



that a single wound kills a bear in ten minutes, but that the 
flesh is not rendered unfit for eating, 
though they take the precaution of cut- 
ting away a considerable quantity of it 
round the wound. 

Dr. Eldridge, formerly of Hakodate, 
obtained a small quantity of the poison, 
and, after trying some experiments with it, 
came to the conclusion that it is less 
virulent than other poisons employed for 
a like purpose, as by the natives of Java, 
the Bushmen, and certain tribes of the 
Amazon and Orinoco. The Ainos say 
that if a man is accidentally wounded by 
a poisoned arrow the only cure is imme- 
diate excision of the part. 

I do not wonder that the Govern- 
ment has prohibited arrow-traps, for they 
made locomotion unsafe, and it is still 
unsafe a little farther north, where the 
hunters are more out of observation than 
here. The traps consist of a large bo\v 
with a poisoned arrow, fixed in such a 
way that when the bear walks over a cord 
which is attached to it he is simultaneously 
transfixed. I have seen as many as fifty 
in one house. The simple contrivance 
for inflicting this silent death is most 

The women are occupied all day, as 
I have before said. They look cheerful, 
and even merry when they smile, and are 
not like the Japanese, prematurely old, 
partly perhaps because their houses are 
well ventilated, and the use of charcoal 
is unknown. I do not think that they 
undergo the unmitigated drudgery which 
falls to the lot of most savage women, 
though they work hard. The men do not like them to speak 
to strangers, however, and say that their place is to work and 


LETTEK xxxvii.] WEAVING. 271 

rear children. They eat of the same food, and at the same 
time as the men, laugh and talk before them, and receive 
equal support and respect in old age. They sell mats and 
bark-cloth in the piece, and made up, when they can, and their 
husbands do not take their earnings from them. All Aino 
women understand the making of bark-cloth. The men bring 
in the bark in strips, five feet long, having removed the outer 
coating. This inner bark is easily separated into several thin 
layers, which are split into very narrow strips by the older 
women, very neatly knotted, and wound into balls weighing 
about a pound each. No preparation of either the bark or 
the thread is required to fit it for weaving, but I observe that 
some of the women steep it in a decoction of a bark which 
produces a brown dye to deepen the buff tint. 

The loom is so simple that I almost fear to represent it as 
complicated by description. It consists of a stout hook fixed 
in the floor, to which the threads of the far end of the web are 
secured, a cord fastening the near end to the waist of the 
worker, who supplies, by dexterous rigidity, the necessary 
tension ; a frame like a comb resting on the ankles, through 
which the threads pass, a hollow roll for keeping the upper 
and under threads separate, a spatula-shaped shuttle of en- 
graved wood, and a roller on which the cloth is rolled as it is 
made. The length of the web is fifteen feet, and the width of 
the cloth fifteen inches. It is woven with great regularity, and 
the knots in the thread are carefully kept on the under side. 1 
It is a very slow and fatiguing process, and a woman cannot 
do much more than a foot a day. The weaver sits on the 
floor with the whole arrangement attached to her waist, and 
the loom, if such it may be called, on her ankles. It takes 
long practice before she can supply the necessary tension by 
spinal rigidity. As the work proceeds she drags herself almost 
imperceptibly nearer the hook. In this house and other large 
ones two or three women bring in their webs in the morning, 
fix their hooks, and weave all day, while others, who have not 
equal advantages, put their hooks in the ground and weave in 
the sunshine. The web and loom can be bundled up in two 

1 I have not been able to obtain from any botanist the name of the tree 
from the bark of which the thread is made, but suppose it to be a species of 



minutes, and carried away quite as easily as a knitted sofa 
blanket. It is the simplest and perhaps the most primitive 
form of hand-loom, and comb, shuttle, and roll, are all easily 
fashioned with an ordinary knife. 



LETTER XXXVIL (Continued) 

A Simple Nature- Worship Aino Gods A Festival Song Religious Intoxica- 
tion Bear-Worship The Annual Saturnalia The Future State 
Marriage and Divorce Musical Instruments Etiquette The Chieftain- 
shipDeath and Burial Old Age Moral Qualities. 

THERE cannot be anything more vague and destitute of 
cohesion than Aino religious notions. With the exception 
of the hill shrines of Japanese construction dedicated to 
Yoshitsune", they have no temples, and they have neither 
priests, sacrifices, nor worship. Apparently through all tra- 
ditional time their cultus has been the rudest and most 
primitive form of nature -worship, the attaching of a vague 
sacredness to trees, rivers, rocks, and mountains, and of vague 
notions of power for good or evil to the sea, the forest, the fire, 
and the sun and moon. I cannot make out that they possess 
a trace of the deification of ancestors, though their rude nature 
worship may well have been the primitive form of Japanese 
Shinto. The solitary exception to their adoration of animate 
and inanimate nature appears to be the reverence paid to 
Yoshitsune", to whom they believe they are greatly indebted, 
and who, it is supposed by some, will yet interfere on their 
behalf. 1 Their gods that is, the outward symbols of their 

1 Yoshitsune" is the most popular hero of Japanese history, and the special 
favourite of boys. He was the brother of Yoritomo, who was appointed by 
the Mikado in 1192 Sei-i Tai Shdgun (barbarian-subjugating great general) 
for his victories, and was the first of that series of great Sh6guns whom our 
European notions distorted into "Temporal Emperors " of Japan. Yoshitsune", 
to whom the real honour of these victories belonged, became the object of the 
jealousy and hatred of his brother, and was hunted from province to province, 
till, according to popular belief, he committed hara-kiri, after killing his wife 
and children, and his head, preserved in sakt, was sent to his brother at 
Kamakura. Scholars, however, are not agreed as to the manner, period, or 
scene of his death. Many believe that he escaped to Yezo and lived among 


religion, corresponding most likely with the Shinto gohei are 
wands and posts of peeled wood, whittled nearly to the top, 
from which the pendent shavings fall down in white curls. 
These are not only set up in their houses, sometimes to the 
number of twenty, but on precipices, banks of rivers and 
streams, and mountain-passes, and such wands are thrown 
into the rivers as the boatmen descend rapids and dangerous 
places. Since my baggage horse fell over an acclivity on the 
trail from Sarufuto, four such wands have been placed there. 
It is nonsense to write of the religious ideas of a people who 
have none, and of beliefs among people who are merely adult 
children. The traveller who formulates an Aino creed must 
" evolve it from his inner consciousness." I have taken infin- 
ite trouble to learn from themselves what their religious notions 
are, and Shinondi tells me that they have told me all they 
know, and the whole sum is a few vague fears and hopes, and 
a suspicion that there are things outside themselves more power- 
ful than themselves, whose good influences may be obtained, 
or whose evil influences may be averted, by libations of sake. 

The word worship is in itself misleading. When I use it 
of these savages it simply means libations of sak^ waving 
bowls and waving hands, without any spiritual act of depreca- 
tion or supplication. In such a sense and such alone they 
worship the sun and moon (but not the stars), the forest, and 
the sea. The wolf, the black snake, the owl, and several 
other beasts and birds have the word kamoi, god, attached to 
them, as the wolf is the " howling god," the owl " the bird of 
the gods," a black snake the "raven god ;" but none of these 
things are now " worshipped," wolf-worship having quite lately 
died out. Thunder, "the voice of the gods," inspires some 
fear. The sun, they say, is their best god, and the fire their 
next best, obviously the divinities from whom their greatest 

the Ainos for many years, dying among them at the close of the twelfth century. 
None believe this more firmly than the Ainos themselves, who assert that he 
taught their fathers the arts of civilisation, with letters and numbers, and gave 
them righteous laws, and he is worshipped by many of them under a name 
which signifies Master of the Law. I have been told by old men in Biratori, 
Usu, and Lebung6, that a later Japanese conqueror carried away the books in 
which the arts were written, and that since his time the arts themselves have 
been lost, and the Ainos have fallen into their present condition ! On asking 
why the Ainos do not make vessels of iron and clay as well as knives and 
spears, the invariable answer is, ' ' The Japanese took away the books. " 


benefits are received Some idea of gratitude pervades their 
rude notions, as in the case of the " worship " paid to Yo- 
shitsune', and it appears in one of the rude recitations chanted 
at the Saturnalia which in several places conclude the hunting 
and fishing seasons : 

" To the sea which nourishes us, to the forest which pro- 
tects us, we present our grateful thanks. You are two mothers 
that nourish the same child ; do not be angry if we leave one 
to go to the other. 

" The Ainos will always be the pride of the forest and of 
the sea." 

The solitary act of sacrifice which they perform is the 
placing of a worthless, dead bird, something like a sparrow, 
near one of their peeled wands, where it is left till it reaches 
an advanced stage of putrefaction. " To drink for the god " 
is the chief act of "worship," and thus drunkenness and 
religion are inseparably connected, as the more sake the Ainos 
drink the more devout they are, and the better pleased are 
the gods. It does not appear that anything but sake is of 
sufficient value to please the gods. The libations to the fire 
and the peeled post are never omitted, and are always accom- 
panied by the inward waving of the sake bowls. 

The peculiarity which distinguishes this rude mythology is 
the " worship " of the bear, the Yezo bear being one of the 
finest of his species ; but it is impossible to understand the 
feelings by which it is prompted, for they worship it after their 
fashion, and set up its head in their villages, yet they trap it, 
kill it, eat it, and sell its skin. There is no doubt that this 
wild beast inspires more of the feeling which prompts worship 
than the inanimate forces of nature, and the Ainos may be 
distinguished as bear-worshippers, and their greatest religious 
festival or Saturnalia as the Festival of the Bear. Gentle and 
peaceable as they are, they have a great admiration for fierce- 
ness and courage ; and the bear, which is the strongest, fiercest, 
and most courageous animal known to them, has probably in 
all ages inspired them with veneration. Some of their rude 
chants are in praise of the bear, and their highest eulogy on a 
man is to compare him to a bear. Thus Shinondi said of 
Benri, the chief, " He is as strong as a bear," and the old Fate 
praising Pipichari called him "The young bear." 


In all Aino villages, specially near the chief's house, there 
are several tall poles with the fleshless skull of a bear on the 
top of each, and in most there is also a large cage, made grid- 
iron fashion, of stout timbers, and raised two or three feet 
from the ground. At the present time such cages contain 
young but well-grown bears, captured when quite small in the 
early spring. After the capture the bear cub is introduced 
into a dwelling-house, generally that of the chief, or sub-chief, 
where it is suckled by a woman, and played with by the 
children, till it grows too big and rough for domestic ways, 
and is placed in a strong cage, in which it is fed and cared 
for, as I understand, till the autumn of the following year, 
when, being strong and well-grown, the Festival of the Bear is 
celebrated. The customs of this festival vary considerably, 
and the manner of the bear's death differs among the mountain 
and coast Ainos, but everywhere there is a general gathering 
of the people, and it is the occasion of a great feast, accom- 
panied with much sak6 and a curious dance, in which men 
alone take part. 

Yells and shouts are used to excite the bear, and when he 
becomes much agitated a chief shoots him with an arrow, 
inflicting a slight wound which maddens him, on which the 
bars of the cage are raised, and he springs forth, very furious. 
At this stage the Ainos run upon him with various weapons, 
each one striving to inflict a wound, as it brings good luck to 
draw his blood. As soon as he falls down exhausted, his 
head is cut off, and the weapons with which he has been 
wounded are offered to it, and he is asked to avenge himself 
upon them. Afterwards the carcass, amidst a frenzied uproar, 
is distributed among the people, and amidst feasting and riot 
the head, placed upon a pole, is worshipped, i.e. it receives 
libations of sake, and the festival closes with general intoxica- 
tion. In some villages it is customary for the foster-mother 
of the bear to utter piercing wails while he is delivered to his 
murderers, and after he is slain to beat each one of them with 
a branch of a tree. [Afterwards at Usu, on Volcano Bay, the 
old men told me that at their festival they despatch the bear 
after a different manner. On letting it loose from the cage 
two men seize it by the ears, and others simultaneously place 
a long, stout pole across the nape of its neck, upon which a 

LETTER xxxvii.] A BLANK FUTURE. 277 

number of Ainos mount, and after a prolonged struggle the 
neck is broken. As the bear is seen to approach his end, 
they shout in chorus, " We kill you, O bear ! come back soon 
into an Aino."] When a bear is trapped or wounded by an 
arrow, the hunters go through an apologetic or propitiatory 
ceremony. They appear to have certain rude ideas of metem- 
psychosis, as is evidenced by the Usu prayer to the bear and 
certain rude traditions ; but whether these are indigenous, or 
have arisen by contact with Buddhism at a later period, it is 
impossible to say. 

They have no definite ideas concerning a future state, 
and the subject is evidently not a pleasing one to them. 
Such notions as they have are few and confused. Some think 
that the spirits of their friends go into wolves and snakes ; 
others, that they wander about the forests; and they are 
much afraid of ghosts. A few think that they go to " a good 
or bad place," according to their deeds ; but Shinondi said, 
and there was an infinite pathos in his words, " Hovr can we 
know ? No one ever came back to tell us !" On asking him 
what were bad deeds, he said, " Being bad to parents, stealing, 
and telling lies." The future, however, does not occupy any 
place in their thoughts, and they can hardly be said to believe 
in the immortality of the soul, though their fear of ghosts 
shows that they recognise a distinction between body and 

Their social customs are very simple. Girls never marry 
before the age of seventeen, or men before twenty-one. When 
a man wishes to marry he thinks of some particular girl, and 
asks the chief if he may ask for her. If leave is given, either 
through a " go-between " or personally, he asks her father for 
her, and if he consents the bridegroom gives him a present, 
usually a Japanese "curio." This constitutes betrothal, and 
the marriage, which immediately follows, is celebrated by 
carousals and the drinking of much sake. The bride receives 
as her dowry her earrings and a highly ornamented kimono. 
It is an essential that the husband provides a house to which 
to take his wife Each couple lives separately, and even the 
eldest son does not take his bride to his father's house. 
Polygamy is only allowed in two cases. The chief may have 
three wives ; but each must have her separate house. Benri 


has two wives ; but it appears that he took the second because 
the first was childless. [The Usu Ainos told me that among 
the tribes of Volcano Bay polygamy is not practised, even by 
the chiefs.] It is also permitted in the case of a childless 
wife ; but there is no instance of it in Biratori, and the men 
say that they prefer to have one wife, as two quarrel. 

Widows are allowed to marry again with the chief's 
consent ; but among these mountain Ainos a woman must 
remain absolutely secluded within the house of her late 
husband for a period varying from six to twelve months, 
only going to the door at intervals to throw sake to the right 
and left. A man secludes himself similarly for thirty days. 
[So greatly do the customs vary, that round Volcano Bay I 
found that the period of seclusion for a widow is only thirty 
days, and for a man twenty- five; but that after a father's 
death the house in which he has lived is burned down after 
the thirty days of seclusion, and the widow and her children 
go to a friend's house for three years, after which the house 
is rebuilt on its former site.] 

If a man does not like his wife, by obtaining the chief's 
consent he can divorce her; but he must send her back to 
her parents with plenty of good clothes ; but divorce is im- 
practicable where there are children, and is rarely if ever 
practised. Conjugal fidelity is a virtue among Aino women ; 
but "custom" provides that, in case of unfaithfulness, the 
injured husband may bestow his wife upon her paramour, if 
he be an unmarried man ; in which case the chief fixes the 
amount of damages which the paramour must pay ; and these 
are usually valuable Japanese curios. 

The old and blind people are entirely supported by their 
children, and receive until their dying day filial reverence and 

If one man steals from another he must return what he has 
taken, and give the injured man a present besides, the value 
of which is fixed by the chief. 

Their mode of living you already know, as I have shared 
it, and am still receiving their hospitality. " Custom " enjoins 
the exercise of hospitality on every Aino. They receive all 
strangers as they received me, giving them of their best, placing 
them in the most honourable place, bestowing gifts upon them, 


and, when they depart, furnishing them with cxkes of boiled 

They have few amusements, except certain feasts. Their 
dance, which they have just given in my honour, is slow and 
mournful, and their songs are chants or recitative. They have 
a musical instrument, something like a guitar, with three, five, 
or six strings, which are made from sinews of whales cast up 
on the shore. They have another, which is believed to be 
peculiar to themselves, consisting of a thin piece of wood, 
about five inches long and two and a half inches broad, with 
a pointed wooden tongue, about two lines in breadth and six- 
teen in length, fixed in the middle, and grooved on three sides. 
The wood is held before the mouth, and the tongue is set in 
motion by the vibration of the breath in singing. Its sound, 
though less penetrating, is as discordant as that of a Jew's harp, 
which it somewhat resembles. One of the men used it as an 
accompaniment of a song ; but they are unwilling to part with 
them, as they say that it is very seldom that they can find a 
piece of wood which will bear the fine splitting necessary for 
the tongue. 

They are a most courteous people among each other. 
The salutations are frequent on entering a house, on leaving 
it, on meeting on the road, on receiving anything from the 
hand of another, and on receiving a kind or complimentary 
speech. They do not make any acknowledgments of this 
kind to the women, however. The common salutation consists 
in extending the hands and waving them inwards, once or 
oftener, and stroking the beard ; the formal one in raising the 
hands with an inward curve to the level of the head two or 
three times, lowering them, and rubbing them together ; the 
ceremony concluding with stroking the beard several times. 
The latter and more formal mode of salutation is offered to 
the chief, and by the young to the old men. The women have 
no "manners !" 

They have no " medicine men," and, though they are aware 
of the existence of healing herbs, they do not know their 
special virtues or the manner of using them. Dried and 
pounded bear's liver is their specific, and they place much 
reliance on it in colic and other pains. They are a healthy 
race. In this village of 300 souls, there are no chronically 


ailing people ; nothing but one case of bronchitis, and some 
cutaneous maladies among children. Neither is there any 
case of deformity in this and five other large villages which I 
have visited, except that of a girl, who has one leg slightly 
shorter than the other. 

They ferment a kind of intoxicating liquor from the root 
of a tree, and also from their own millet and Japanese rice, 
but Japanese sak'e is the one thing that they care about They 
spend all their gains upon it, and drink it in enormous quan- 
tities. It represents to them all the good of which they know, 
or can conceive. Beastly intoxication is the highest happiness 
to which these poor savages aspire, and the condition is 
sanctified to them under the fiction of " drinking to the gods." 
Men and women alike indulge in this vice. A few, however, 
like Pipichari, abstain from it totally, taking the bowl in 
their hands, making the libations to the gods, and then 
passing it on. I asked Pipichari why he did not take sak, 
and he replied with a truthful terseness, "Because it makes 
men like dogs." 

Except the chief, who has two horses, they have no 
domestic animals except very large, yellow dogs, which are 
used in hunting, but are never admitted within the houses. 

The habits of the people, though by no means destitute of 
decency and propriety, are not cleanly. The women bathe 
their hands once a day, but any other washing is unknown. 
They never wash their clothes, and wear the same by day and 
night. I am afraid to speculate on the condition of their 
wealth of coal-black hair. They may be said to be very dirty 
as dirty fully as masses of our people at home. Their houses 
swarm with fleas, but they are not worse in this respect than 
the Japanese yadoyas. The mountain villages have, however, 
the appearance of extreme cleanliness, being devoid of litter, 
heaps, puddles, and untidiness of all kinds, and there are no 
unpleasant odours inside or outside the houses, as they are well 
ventilated and smoked, and the salt fish and meat are kept in 
the godowns. The hair and beards of the old men, instead of 
being snowy as they ought to be, are yellow from smoke and 

They have no mode of computing time, and do not know 
their own ages. To them the past is dead, yet, like other 


conquered and despised races, they cling to the idea that in 
some far-off age they were a great nation. They have no 
traditions of internecine strife, and the art of war seems to 
have been lost long ago. I asked Benri about this matter, 
and he says that formerly Ainos fought with spears and knives 
as well as with bows and arrows, but that Yoshitsune', their 
hero god, forbade war for ever, and since then the two-edged 
spear, with a shaft nine feet long, has only been used in hunting 

The Japanese Government, of course, exercises the same 
authority over the Ainos as over its other subjects, but prob- 
ably it does not care to interfere in domestic or tribal matters, 
and within this outside limit despotic authority is vested in the 
chiefs. The Ainos live in village communities, and each 
community has its own chief, who is its lord paramount. It 
appears to me that this chieftainship is but an expansion of the 
paternal relation, and that all the village families are ruled as 
a unit Benri, in whose house I am, is the chief of Biratori, 
and is treated by all with very great deference of manner. 
The office is nominally for life ; but if a chief becomes blind, 
or too infirm to go about, he appoints a successor. If he has 
a " smart " son, who he thinks will command the respect of 
the people, he appoints him ; but if not, he chooses the most 
suitable man in the village. The people are called upon to 
approve the choice, but their ratification is never refused. The 
office is not hereditary anywhere. 

Benri appears to exercise the authority of a very strict 
father. His manner to all the men is like that of a master to 
slaves, and they bow when they speak to him. No one can 
marry without his approval. If any one builds a house he 
chooses the site. He has absolute jurisdiction in civil and 
criminal cases, unless (which is very rare) the latter should be 
of sufficient magnitude to be reported to the Imperial officials. 
He compels restitution of stolen property, and in all cases 
fixes the fines which are to be paid by delinquents. He also 
fixes the hunting arrangements and the festivals. The younger 
men were obviously much afraid of incurring his anger in his 

An eldest son does not appear to be, as among the Japanese, 
a privileged person. He does not necessarily inherit the house 


and curios. The latter are not divided, but go with the house 
to the son whom the father regards as being the " smartest." 
Formal adoption is practised. Pipichari is an adopted son, 
and is likely to succeed to Benri's property to the exclusion of 
his own children. I cannot get at the word which is trans- 
lated " smartness," but I understand it as meaning general 
capacity. The chief, as I have mentioned before, is allowed 
three wives among the mountain Ainos, otherwise authority 
seems to be his only privilege. 

The Ainos have a singular dread of snakes. Even their 
bravest fly from them. One man says that it is because they 
know of no cure for their bite ; but there is something more 
than this, for they flee from snakes which they know to be 

They have an equal dread of their dead. Death seems to 
them very specially "the shadow fear'd of man." When it 
comes, which it usually does from bronchitis in old age, the 
corpse is dressed in its best clothing, and laid upon a shelf 
for from one to three days. In the case of a woman her 
ornaments are buried with her, and in that of a man his knife 
and ,j#A?-stick, and, if he were a smoker, his smoking apparatus. 
The corpse is sewn up with these things in a mat, and, being 
slung on poles, is carried to a solitary grave, where it is laid in 
a recumbent position. Nothing will induce an Aino to go 
near a grave. Even if a valuable bird or animal falls near 
one, he will not go to pick it up. A vague dread is for ever 
associated with the departed, and no dream of Paradise ever 
lights for the Aino the " Stygian shades." 

Benri is, for an Aino, intelligent Two years ago Mr. 
Dening of Hakodate* came up here and told him that there 
was but one God who made us all, to which the shrewd old 
man replied, " If the God who made you made us, how is it 
that you are so different you so rich, we so poor?" On 
asking him about the magnificent pieces of lacquer and inlaying 
which adorn his curio shelf, he said that they were his father's, 
grandfather's, and great-grandfather's at least, and he thinks 
they were gifts from the daimiyo of Matsumae soon after the 
conquest of Yezo. He is a grand-looking man, in spite of the 
havoc wrought by his intemperate habits. There is plenty of 
room in the house, and this morning, when I asked him to 


show me the use of the spear, he looked a truly magnificent 
savage, stepping well back with the spear in rest, and then 
springing forward for the attack, his arms and legs turning 
into iron, the big muscles standing out in knots, his frame 
quivering with excitement, the thick hair falling back in masses 
from his brow, and the fire of the chase in his eye. I trembled 
for my boy, who was the object of the imaginary onslaught, 
the passion of sport was so admirably acted. 

As I write, seven of the older men are sitting by the fire. 
Their grey beards fall to their waists in rippled masses, and 
the slight baldness of age not only gives them a singularly 
venerable appearance, but enhances the beauty of their lofty 
brows. I took a rough sketch of one of the handsomest, and, 
showing it to him, asked if he would have it, but instead of 
being amused or pleased he showed symptoms of fear, and 
asked me to burn it, saying it would bring him bad luck and 
he should die. However, Ito pacified him, and he accepted 
it, after a Chinese character, which is understood to mean 
good luck, had been written upon it ; but all the others begged 
me not to " make pictures " of them, except Pipichari, who 
lies at my feet like a staghound. 

The profusion of black hair, and a curious intensity about 
their eyes, coupled with the hairy limbs and singularly vigorous 
physique, give them a formidably savage appearance ; but the 
smile, full of "sweetness and light," in which both eyes and 
mouth bear part, and the low, musical voice, softer and sweeter 
than anything I have previously heard, make me at times 
forget that they are savages at all. The venerable look of 
these old men harmonises with the singular dignity and 
courtesy of their manners, but as I look at the grand heads, 
and reflect that the Ainos have never shown any capacity, and 
are merely adult children, they seem to suggest water on the 
brain rather than intellect I am more and more convinced 
that the expression of their faces is European. It is truthful, 
straightforward, manly, but both it and the tone of voice are 
strongly tinged with pathos. 

Before these elders Benri asked me, in a severe tone, if I 
had been annoyed in any way during his absence. He feared, 
he said, that the young men and the women would crowd about 
me rudely. I made a complimentary speech in return, and 


all the ancient hands were waved, and the venerable beards 
were stroked in acknowledgment. 

These Ainos, doubtless, stand high among uncivilised 
peoples. They are, however, as completely irreclaimable as 
the wildest of nomad tribes, and contact with civilisation, 
where it exists, only debases them. Several young Ainos 
were sent to Tokiyo, and educated and trained in various 
ways, but as soon as they returned to Yezo they relapsed into 
savagery, retaining nothing but a knowledge of Japanese. 
They are charming in many ways, but make one sad, too, by 
their stupidity, apathy, and hopelessness, and all the sadder 
that their numbers appear to be again increasing ; and as their 
physique is very fine, there does not appear to be a prospect 
of the race dying out at present. 

They are certainly superior to many aborigines, as they 
have an approach to domestic life. They have one word for 
house, and another for home, and one word for husband ap- 
proaches very nearly to house-band. Truth is of value in 
their eyes, and this in itself raises them above some peoples. 
Infanticide is unknown, and aged parents receive filial rever- 
ence, kindness, and support, while in their social and domestic 
relations there is much that is praiseworthy. 

I must conclude this letter abruptly, as the horses are 
waiting, and I must cross the rivers, if possible, before the 
bursting of an impending storm. I. L. B. 



A Parting Gift A Delicacy Generosity A Seaside Village Pipichari's 
Advice A Drunken Revel Ito's Prophecies The KdchS's Illness- 
Patent Medicines. 

SARUFUTO, YEZO, August 27. 

I LEFT the Ainos yesterday with real regret, though I must 
confess that sleeping in one's clothes and the lack of ablu- 
tions are very fatiguing. Benri's two wives spent the early 
morning in the laborious operation of grinding millet into 
coarse flour, and before I departed, as their custom is, they 
made a paste of it, rolled it with their unclean fingers into 
well-shaped cakes, boiled them in the unwashed pot in which 
they male their stew of "abominable things," and presented 
them to me on a lacquer tray. They were distressed that I 
did not eat their food, and a woman went to a village at some 
distance and brought me some venison fat as a delicacy. All 
those of whom I had seen much came to wish me good-bye, 
and they brought so many presents (including a fine bearskin) 
that I should have needed an additional horse to carry them 
had I accepted but one-half. 

I rode twelve miles through the forest to Mombets, where 
I intended to spend Sunday, but I had the worst horse I ever 
rode, and we took five hours. The day was dull and sad, 
threatening a storm, and when we got out of the forest, upon 
a sand-hill covered with oak scrub, we encountered a most 
furious wind. Among the many views which I have seen, 
that is one to be remembered Below lay a bleached and 
bare sand-hill, with a few grey houses huddled in its miserable 
shelter, and a heaped-up shore of grey sand, on which a 
brown-grey sea was breaking with clash and boom in long, 
white, ragged lines, with all beyond a confusion of surf, surge, 


and mist, with driving brown clouds mingling sea and sky, 
and all between showing only in glimpses amidst scuds of 

At a house in the scrub a number of men were drinking 
sake with much uproar, and a superb-looking Aino came out, 
staggered a few yards, and then fell backwards among the 
weeds, a picture of debasement. I forgot to tell you that 
before I left Biratori, I inveighed to the assembled Ainos 
against the practice and consequences of ja&?-drinking, and 
was met with the reply, " We must drink to the gods, or we 
shall die;" but Pipichari said, "You say that which is good; 
let us give sake to the gods, but not drink it," for which bold 
speech he was severely rebuked by Benri. 

Mombets is a stormily-situated and most wretched cluster 
of twenty-seven decayed houses, some of them Aino, and 
some Japanese. The fish-oil and seaweed fishing trades are 
in brisk operation there now for a short time, and a number 
of Aino and Japanese strangers are employed. The boats 
could not get out because of the surf, and there was a drunken 
debauch. The whole place smelt of sake. Tipsy men were 
staggering about and falling flat on their backs, to lie there 
like dogs till they were sober, Aino women were vainly en- 
deavouring to drag their drunken lords home, and men of 
both races were reduced to a beastly equality. I went to the 
yadoya where I intended to spend Sunday, but, besides being 
very dirty and forlorn, it was the very centre of the sake traffic, 
and in its open space there were men in all stages of riotous 
and stupid intoxication. It was a sad scene, yet one to be 
matched in a hundred places in Scotland every Saturday after- 
noon. I am told by the Kdchd here that an Aino can drink 
four or five times as much as a Japanese without being tipsy, 
so for each tipsy Aino there had been an outlay of 6s. or 75., 
for sake is 8d. a cup here ! 

I had some tea and eggs in the daidokoro, and altered my 
plans altogether on finding that if I proceeded farther round 
the east coast, as I intended, I should run the risk of several 
days' detention on the banks of numerous "bad rivers", if 
rain came on, by which I should run the risk of breaking my 
promise to deliver Ito to Mr. Maries by a given day. I do 
.not surrender this project, however, without an equivalent, for 


I intend to add 100 miles to my journey, by taking an almost 
disused track round Volcano Bay, and visiting the coast Ainos 
of a very primitive region. Ito is very much opposed to this, 
thinking that he has made a sufficient sacrifice of personal 
comfort at Biratori, and plies me with stories, such as that 
there are "many bad rivers to cross," that the track is so 
worn as to be impassable, that there are no yadoyas, and that 
at the Government offices we shall neither get rice nor eggs ! 
An old man who has turned back unable to get horses is made 
responsible for these stories. The machinations are very 
amusing. Ito was much smitten with the daughter of the 
house-master at Mororan, and left some things in her keeping, 
and the desire to see her again is at the bottom of his opposi- 
tion to the other route. 

Monday. The horse could not or would not carry me 
farther than Mombets, so, sending the baggage on, I walked 
through the oak wood, and enjoyed its silent solitude, in spite 
of the sad reflections upon the enslavement of the Ainos to 
sake. I spent yesterday quietly in my old quarters, with a 
fearful storm of wind and rain outside. Pipichari appeared 
at noon, nominally to bring news of the sick woman, who is 
recovering, and to have his nearly healed foot bandaged 
again, but really to bring me a knife sheath which he has 
carved for me. He lay on the mat in the corner of my room 
most of the afternoon, and I got a great many more words 
from him. The house-master, who is the Kochd of Sarufuto, 
paid me a courteous visit, and in the evening sent to say that 
he would be very glad of some medicine, for he was " very ill 
and going to have fever." He had caught a bad cold and 
sore throat, had bad pains in his limbs, and was bemoaning 
himself ruefully. To pacify his wife, who was very sorry for 
him, I gave him some "Cockle's Pills" and the trapper's 
remedy of "a pint of hot water with a pinch of cayenne 
pepper," and left him moaning and bundled up under a pile 
of futons, in a nearly hermetically sealed room, with a hibacht 
of charcoal vitiating the air. This morning when I went and 
inquired after him in a properly concerned tone, his wife told 
me very gleefully that he was quite well and had gone out, 
and had left 25 sen for some more of the medicines that I 
had given him, so with great gravity I put up some of Duncan 



and Flockhart's most pungent cayenne pepper, and showed 
her how much to use. She was not content, however, without 
some of the " Cockles," a single box of which has performed 
six of those " miraculous cures " which rejoice the hearts and 
fill the pockets of patent medicine makers ! 

I. L. B. 


xxxix.] A WELCOME GIFT. 289 


A Welcome Gift Recent Changes Volcanic Phenomena Interesting Tufa 
Cones Semi-strangulation A Fall into a Bear-trap The Shiradi Ainos 
Horsebreaking and Cruelty. 

September a. 

AFTER the storm of Sunday, Monday was a grey, still, tender 
day, and the ranges of wooded hills were bathed in the richest 
indigo colouring. A canter of seventeen miles among the 
damask roses on a very rough horse only took me to Yubets, 
whose indescribable loneliness fascinated me into spending a 
night there again, and encountering a wild clatter of wind and 
rain ; and another canter of seven miles the next morning took 
me to Tomakomai, where I rejoined my kuruma, and after a 
long delay, three trotting Ainos took me to Shiraoi, where the 
"clear shining after rain," and the mountains against a lemon- 
coloured sky, were extremely beautiful ; but the Pacific was as 
unrestful as a guilty thing, and its crash and clamour and the 
severe cold fatigued me so much that I did not pursue my 
journey the next day, and had the pleasure of a flying visit 
from Mr. Von Siebold and Count Diesbach, who bestowed a 
chicken upon me. 

I like Shiraoi very much, and if I were stronger would 
certainly make it a basis for exploring a part of the interior, 
in which there is much to reward the explorer. Obviously the 
changes in this part of Yezo have been comparatively recent, 
and the energy of the force which has produced them is not 
yet extinct The land has gained from the sea along the 
whole of this part of the coast to the extent of two or three 
miles, the old beach with its bays and headlands being a 
marked feature of the landscape. This new formation appears 



to be a vast bed of pumice, covered by a thin layer of vegetable 
mould, which cannot be more than fifty years old. This 
pumice fell during the eruption of the volcano of Tarumai, 
which is very near Shiraoi, and is also brought down in large 
quantities from the interior hills and valleys by the numerous 
rivers, besides being washed up by the sea. At the last 
eruption pumice fell over this region of Yezo to a medium 
depth of 3 feet 6 inches. In nearly all the rivers good sections 
of the formation may be seen in their deeply-cleft banks, broad, 
light-coloured bands of pumice, with a few inches of rich, black, 
vegetable soil above, and several feet of black sea-sand below. 
During a freshet which occurred the first night I was at 
Shira6i, a single stream covered a piece of land with pumice 
to the depth of nine inches, being the "wash from the hills of 
the interior, in a course of less than fifteen miles. 

Looking inland, the volcano of Tarumai, with a bare grey 
top and a blasted forest on its sides, occupies the right of the 
picture. To the left and inland are mountains within mount- 
ains, tumbled together in most picturesque confusion, densely 
covered with forest and cleft by magnificent ravines, here and 
there opening out into narrow valleys. The whole of the 
interior is jungle penetrable for a few miles by shallow and 
rapid rivers, and by nearly smothered trails made by the Ainos 
in search of game. The general lie of the country made me 
very anxious to find out whether a much-broken ridge lying 
among the mountains is or is not a series of tufa cones of 
ancient date ; and, applying for a good horse and Aino guide 
on horseback, I left Ito to amuse himself, and spent much of 
a most splendid day in investigations and in attempting to get 
round the back of the volcano and up its inland side. There 
is a great deal to see and learn there. Oh that I had strength ! 
After hours of most tedious and exhausting work I reached a 
point where there were several great fissures emitting smoke 
and steam, with occasional subterranean detonations. These 
were on the side of a small, flank crack which was smoking 
heavily. There was light pumice everywhere, but nothing 
like recent lava or scoriae. One fissure was completely lined 
with exquisite, acicular crystals of sulphur, which perished 
with a touch. Lower down there were two hot springs with a 
deposit of sulphur round their margins, and bubbles of gas, 


which, from its strong, garlicky smell, I suppose to be sul- 
phuretted hydrogen. Farther progress in that direction was 
impossible without a force of pioneers. I put my arm down 
several deep crevices which were at an altitude of only about 
500 feet, and had to withdraw it at once, owing to the great 
heat, in which some beautiful specimens of tropical ferns were 
growing. At the same height I came to a hot spring hot 
enough to burst one of my thermometers, which was graduated 
above the boiling point of Fahrenheit ; and tying up an egg 
in a pocket-handkerchief and holding it by a stick in the water, 
it was hard boiled in 8 minutes. The water evaporated 
without leaving a trace of deposit on the handkerchief, and 
there was no crust round its margin. It boiled and bubbled 
with great force. 

Three hours more of exhausting toil, which almost knocked 
up the horses, brought us to the apparent ridge, and I was 
delighted to find that it consisted of a lateral range of tufa 
cones, which I estimate as being from 200 to 350, or even 
400 feet high. They are densely covered with trees of con- 
siderable age, and a rich deposit of mould ; but their conical 
form is still admirably defined. An hour of very severe work, 
and energetic use of the knife on the part of the Aino, took 
me to the top of one of these through a mass of entangled 
and gigantic vegetation, and I was amply repaid by finding a 
deep, well-defined crateriform cavity of great depth, with its 
sides richly clothed with vegetation, closely resembling some of 
the old cones in the island of Kauai. This cone is partially 
girdled by a stream, which in one place has cut through a 
bank of both red and black volcanic ash. All the usual 
phenomena of volcanic regions are probably to be met with 
north of Shiraoi, and I hope they will at some future time be 
made the object of careful investigation. 

In spite of the desperate and almost overwhelming fatigue, 
I have enjoyed few things more than that " exploring expedi- 
tion." If the Japanese have no one to talk to they croon 
hideous discords to themselves, and it was a relief to leave Ito 
behind and get away with an Aino, who was at once silent, 
trustworthy, and faithful. Two bright rivers bubbling over 
beds of red pebbles run down to Shiraoi out of the back 
country, and my directions, which were translated to the Aino, 


were to follow up one of these and go into the mountains in 
the direction of one I pointed out till I said " Shiraoi." It 
was one of those exquisite mornings which are seen sometimes 
in the Scotch Highlands before rain, with intense clearness and 
visibility, a blue atmosphere, a cloudless sky, blue summits, 
heavy dew, and glorious sunshine, and under these circum- 
stances scenery beautiful in itself became entrancing. 

The trailers are so formidable that we had to stoop over 
our horses' necks at all times, and with pushing back branches 
and guarding my face from slaps and scratches, my thick 
dogskin gloves were literally frayed off, and some of the skin 
of my hands and face in addition, so that I returned with both 
bleeding and swelled. It was on the return ride, fortunately, 
that in stooping to escape one great liana the loop of another 
grazed my nose, and, being unable to check my unbroken 
horse instantaneously, the loop caught me by the throat, nearly 
strangled me, and in less time than it takes to tell it I was 
drawn over the back of the saddle, and found myself lying on 
the ground, jammed between a tree and the hind leg of the 
horse, which was quietly feeding. The Aino, whose face was 
very badly scratched, missing me, came back, said never a 
word, helped me up, brought me some water in a leaf, brought 
my hat, and we rode on again. I was little the worse for the 
fall, but on borrowing a looking-glass I see not only scratches 
and abrasions all over my face, but a livid mark round my 
throat as if I had been hung ! The Aino left portions of his 
bushy locks on many of the branches. You would have been 
amused to see me in this forest, preceded by this hairy and 
formidable-looking savage, who was dressed in a coat of skins 
with the fur outside, seated on the top of a pack-saddle covered 
with a deer hide, and with his hairy legs crossed over the 
horse's neck a fashion in which the Ainos ride any horses 
over any ground with the utmost serenity. 

It was a wonderful region for beauty. I have not seen so 
beautiful a view in Japan as from the river-bed from which I 
had the first near view of the grand assemblage of tufa cones, 
covered with an ancient vegetation, backed by high mountains 
of volcanic origin, on whose ragged crests the red ash was 
blazing vermilion against the blue sky, with a foreground 
of bright waters flashing through a primeval forest. The 


banks of these streams were deeply excavated by the heavy 
rains, and sometimes we had to jump three and even four feet 
out of the forest into the river, and as much up again, fording 
the Shiraoi river only more than twenty times, and often 
making a pathway of its treacherous bed and rushing waters, 
because the forest was impassable from the great size of the 
prostrate trees. The horses look at these jumps, hold back, 
try to turn, and then, making up their minds, suddenly plunge 
down or up. When the last vestige of a trail disappeared, I 
signed to the Aino to go on, and our subsequent "exploration" 
was all done at the rate of about a mile an hour. On the 
openings the grass grows stiff and strong to the height of eight 
feet, with its soft reddish plumes waving in the breeze. The 
Aino first forced his horse through it, but of course it closed 
again, so that constantly when he was close in front I was 
only aware of his proximity by the tinkling of his horse's bells, 
for I saw nothing of him or of my own horse except the horn 
of my saddle. We tumbled into holes often, and as easily 
tumbled out of them ; but once we both went down in the 
most unexpected manner into what must have been an old 
bear-trap, both going over our horses' heads, the horses and 
ourselves struggling together in a narrow space in a mist of 
grassy plumes, and, being unable to communicate with my 
guide, the sense of the ridiculous situation was so overpowering 
that, even in the midst of the mishap, I was exhausted with 
laughter, though not a little bruised. It was very hard to get 
out of that pitfall, and I hope I shall never get into one again. 
It is not the first occasion on which I have been glad that the 
Yezo horses are shoeless. It was through this long grass that 
we fought our way to the tufa cones, with the red ragged 
crests against the blue sky. 

The scenery was magnificent, and after getting so far I 
longed to explore the sources of the rivers, but besides the 
many difficulties the day was far spent I was also too weak 
for any energetic undertaking, yet I felt an intuitive perception 
of the passion and fascination of exploring, and understood 
how people could give up their lives to it. I turned away 
from the tufa cones and the glory of the ragged crests very 
sadly, to ride a tired horse through great difficulties ; and the 
animal was so thoroughly done up that I had to walk, or rather 


wade, for the last hour, and it was nightfall when I returned, 
to find that Ito had packed up all my things, had been 
waiting ever since noon to start for Horobets, was very 
grumpy at having to unpack, and thoroughly disgusted when 
I told him that I was so tired and bruised that I should have 
to remain the next day to rest. He said indignantly, "I never 
thought that when you'd got the Kaitakushi kuruma you'd go 
off the road into those woods !" We had seen some deer and 
many pheasants, and a successful hunter brought in a fine 
stag, so that I had venison steak for supper, and was much 
comforted, though Ito seasoned the meal with well-got-up 
stories of the impracticability of the Volcano Bay route. 

Shiraoi consists of a large old Honjin, or yadoya, where the 
daimiyd and his train used to lodge in the old days, and about 
eleven Japanese houses, most of which are sak'e shops a fact 
which supplies an explanation of the squalor of the Aino 
village of fifty-two houses, which is on the shore at a respect- 
ful distance. There is no cultivation, in which it is like all 
the fishing villages on this part of the coast, but fish-oil and 
fish-manure are made in immense quantities, and, though it is 
not the season here, the place is pervaded by " an ancient and 
fish-like smell." 

The Aino houses are much smaller, poorer, and dirtier 
than those of BiratorL I went into a number of them, and 
conversed with the people, many of whom understand Japan- 
ese. Some of the houses looked like dens, and, as it was 
raining, husband, wife, and five or six naked children, all as 
dirty as they could be, with unkempt, elf-like locks, were 
huddled round the fires. Still, bad as it looked and smelt, 
the fire was the hearth, and the hearth was inviolate, and each 
smoked and dirt-stained group was a family, and it was an 
advance upon the social life of, for instance, Salt Lake City. 
The roofs are much flatter than those of the mountain Ainos, 
and, as there are few store-houses, quantities of fish, " green " 
skins, and venison, hang from the rafters, and the smell of 
these and the stinging of the smoke were most trying. Few of 
the houses had any guest-seats, but in the very poorest, when 
I asked shelter from the rain, they put their best mat upon the 
ground, and insisted, much to my distress, on my walking 
over it in muddy boots, saying, " It is Aino custom." Even 


in those squalid homes the broad shelf, with its rows of 
Japanese curios, always has a place. I mentioned that it is 
customary for a chief to appoint a successor when he becomes 
infirm, and I came upon a case in point, through a mistaken 
direction, which took us to the house of the former chief, with 
a great empty bear cage at its door. On addressing him as 
the chief, he said, " I am old and blind, I cannot go out, I 
am of no more good, " and directed us to the house of his 
successor. Altogether it is obvious, from many evidences in 
this village, that Japanese contiguity is hurtful, and that the 
Ainos have reaped abundantly of the disadvantages without 
the advantages of contact with Japanese civilisation. 

That night I saw a specimen of Japanese horse-breaking 
as practised in Yezo. A Japanese brought into the village 
street a handsome, spirited young horse, equipped with a 
Japanese demi-pique saddle, and a most cruel gag bit. The 
man wore very cruel spurs, and was armed with a bit of stout 
board two feet long by six inches broad. The horse had not 
been mounted before, and was frightened, but not the least 
vicious. He was spurred into a gallop, and ridden at full 
speed up and down the street, turned by main force, thrown 
on his haunches, goaded with the spurs, and cowed by being 
mercilessly thrashed over the ears and eyes with the piece of 
board till he was blinded with blood. Whenever he tried to 
stop from exhaustion he was spurred, jerked, and flogged, till 
at last, covered with sweat, foam, and blood, and with blood 
running from his mouth and splashing the road, he reeled, 
staggered, and fell, the rider dexterously disengaging himself. 
As soon as he was able to stand, he was allowed to crawl into 
a shed, where he was kept without food till morning, when 
a child could do anything with him. He was "broken," 
effectually spirit-broken, useless for the rest of his life. It 
was a brutal and brutalising exhibition, as triumphs of brute 
force always are. 


LETTER XXXIX. (Continued) 

The Universal Language The Yezo Corrals A "Typhoon Rain" Diffi- 
cult Tracks An Unenviable Ride Drying Clothes A Woman's Remorse. 

THIS morning I left early in the kuruma with two kind and 
delightful savages. The road being much broken by the 
rains I had to get out frequently, and every time I got in 
again they put my air-pillow behind me, and covered me up 
in a blanket ; and when we got to a rough river, one made a 
step of his back by which I mounted their horse, and gave me 
nooses of rope to hold on by, and the other held my arm to 
keep me steady, and they would not let me walk up or down 
any of the hills. What a blessing it is that, amidst the con- 
fusion of tongues, the language of kindness and courtesy is 
universally understood, and that a kindly smile on a savage 
face is as intelligible as on that of one's own countryman ! 
They had never drawn a kuruma, and were as pleased as 
children when I showed them how to balance the shafts. 
They were not without the capacity to originate ideas, for, 
when they were tired of the frolic of pulling, they attached 
the kuruma by ropes to the horse, which one of them rode at 
a " scramble," while the other merely ran in the shafts to keep 
them level. This is an excellent plan. 

Horobets is a fishing station of antique and decayed 
aspect, with eighteen Japanese and forty-seven Aino houses. 
The latter are much larger than at Shiraoi, and their very 
steep roofs are beautifully constructed. It was a miserable day, 
with fog concealing the mountains and lying heavily on the 
sea, but as no one expected rain I sent the kuruma back to 
Mororan and secured horses. On principle I always go to 
the corral myself to choose animals, if possible, without sore 
backs, but the choice is often between one with a mere raw 


and others which have holes in their backs into which I could 
put my hand, or altogether uncovered spines. The prac- 
tice does no immediate good, but by showing the Japanese 
that foreign opinion condemns these cruelties an amendment 
may eventually be brought about At Horobets, among twenty 
horses, there was not one that I would take, I should like 
to have had them all shot They are cheap and abundant, 
and are of no account. They drove a number more down 
from the hills, and I chose the largest and finest horse I have 
seen in Japan, with some spirit and action, but I soon found 
that he had tender feet We shortly left the high-road, and in 
torrents of rain turned off on " unbeaten tracks," which led us 
through a very bad swamp and some much swollen and very 
rough rivers into the mountains, where we followed a worn-out 
track for eight miles. It was literally "foul weather," dark 
and still, with a brown mist, and rain falling in sheets. I 
threw my paper waterproof away as useless, my clothes were 
of course soaked, and it was with much difficulty that I kept 
my sliomon and paper money from being reduced to pulp. 
Typhoons are not known so far north as Yezo, but it was what 
they call a "typhoon rain" without the typhoon, and in no 
time it turned the streams into torrents barely fordable, and 
tore up such of a road as there is, which at its best is a mere 
water-channel. Torrents, bringing tolerable-sized stones, tore 
down the track, and when the horses had been struck two or 
three times by these, it was with difficulty that they could be 
induced to face the rushing water. Constantly in a pass, the 
water had gradually cut a track several feet deep between 
steep banks, and the only possible walking place was a stony 
gash not wide enough for the two feet of a horse alongside of 
each other, down which water and stones were rushing from 
behind, with all manner of trailers matted overhead, and 
between avoiding being strangled and attempting to keep a 
tender-footed horse on his legs, the ride was a very severe 
one. The poor animal fell five times from stepping on stones, 
and in one of his falls twisted my left wrist badly. I thought 
of the many people who envied me my tour in Japan, and 
wondered whether they would envy me that ride ! 

After this had gone on for four hours, the track, with a 
sudden dip over a hillside, came down on Old Mororan, a 

I, 2 


village of thirty Aino and nine Japanese houses, very un- 
promising-looking, although exquisitely situated on the rim of 
a lovely cove. The Aino huts were small and poor, with an 
unusual number of bear skulls on poles, and the village 
consisted mainly of two long dilapidated buildings, in which a 
number of men were mending nets. It looked a decaying 
place, of low, mean lives. But at a " merchant's " there was 
one delightful room with two translucent sides one opening on 
the village, the other looking to the sea down a short, steep 
slope, on which is a quaint little garden, with dwarfed fir-trees 
in pots, a few balsams, and a red cabbage grown with much 
pride as a "foliage plant." 

It is nearly midnight, but my bed and bedding are so wet 
that I am still sitting up and drying them, patch by patch, 
with tedious slowness, on a wooden frame placed over a 
charcoal brazier, which has given my room the dryness and 
warmth which are needed when a person has been for many 
hours in soaked clothing, and has nothing really dry to put 
on. Ito bought a chicken for my supper, but when he was 
going to kill it an hour later its owner in much grief returned 
the money, saying she had brought it up and could not bear 
to see it killed. This is a wild, -outlandish place, but an intui- 
tion tells me that it is beautiful. The ocean at present is 
thundering up the beach with the sullen force of a heavy 
ground-swell, and the rain is still falling in torrents. 

I. L. B. 



"More than Peace" Geographical Difficulties Usu-taki Swimming the 
Osharu A Dream of Beauty A Sunset Effect A Nocturnal Alarm 
The Coast Ainos. 

September 6. 

"WEARY wave and dying blast 
Sob and moan along the shore, 
All is peace at last." 

And more than peace. It was a heavenly morning. The 
deep blue sky was perfectly unclouded, a blue sea with 
diamond flash and a "many-twinkling smile" rippled gently 
on the golden sands of the lovely little bay, and opposite, 
forty miles away, the pink summit of the volcano of Komono- 
taki, forming the south-western point of Volcano Bay, rose 
into a softening veil of tender blue haze. There was a balmy 
breeziness in the air, and tawny tints upon the hill, patches of 
gold in the woods, and a scarlet spray here and there heralded 
the glories of the advancing autumn. As the day began, so it 
closed. I should like to have detained each hour as it passed. 
It was thorough enjoyment I visited a good many of the 
Mororan Ainos, saw their well-grown bear in its cage, and, 
tearing myself away with difficulty at noon, crossed a steep hill 
and a wood of scrub oak, and then followed a trail which runs 
on the amber sands close to the sea, crosses several small 
streams, and passes the lonely Aino village of Maripu, the 
ocean always on the left and wooded ranges on the right, and 
in front an apparent bar to farther progress in the volcano of 
Usu-taki, an imposing mountain, rising abruptly to a height of 
nearly 3000 feet, I should think. 

In Yezo, as on the main island, one can learn very little 
about any prospective route. Usually when one makes an 


inquiry a Japanese puts on a stupid look, giggles, tucks his 
thumbs into his girdle, hitches up his garments, and either 
professes perfect ignorance or gives one some vague second- 
hand information, though it is quite possible that he may 
have been over every foot of the ground himself more than 
once. Whether suspicion of your motives in asking, or a fear 
of compromising himself by answering, is at the bottom of this 
I don't know, but it is most exasperating to a traveller. In 
Hakodate" I failed to see Captain Blakiston, who has walked 
round the whole Yezo sea-board, and all I was able to learn 
regarding this route was that the coast was thinly peopled by 
Ainos, that there were Government horses which could be got, 
and that one could sleep where one got them j that rice and 
salt fish were the only food; that there were many "bad 
rivers," and that the road went over " bad mountains ;" that 
the only people who went that way were Government officials 
twice a year, that one could not get on more than four miles 
a day, that the roads over the passes were " all big stones," 
etc. etc. So this Usu-taki took me altogether by surprise, 
and for a time confounded all my carefully-constructed notions 
of locality. I had been told that the one volcano in the bay 
was Komono-taki, near Mori, and this I believed to be eighty 
miles off, and there, confronting me, within a distance of two 
miles, was this grand, splintered, vermilion-crested thing, with 
a far nobler aspect than that of "the" volcano, with a curtain 
range in front, deeply scored, and slashed with ravines and 
abysses whose purple gloom was unlighted even by the noon- 
day sun. One of the peaks was emitting black smoke from a 
deep crater, another steam and white smoke from various 
rents and fissures in its side vermilion peaks, smoke, and 
steam all rising into a sky of brilliant blue, and the atmosphere 
was so clear that I saw everything that was going on there 
quite distinctly, especially when I attained an altitude ex- 
ceeding that of the curtain range. It was not for two days 
that I got a correct idea of its geographical situation, but I 
was not long in finding out that it was not Komono-taki ! 
There is much volcanic activity about it. I saw a glare from 
it last night thirty miles away. The Ainos said that it was " a 
god," but did not know its name, nor did the Japanese who 
were living under its shadow. At some distance from it in 


the interior rises a great dome-like mountain, Shiribetsan, and 
the whole view is grand. 

A little beyond Mombets flows the river Osharu, one of 
the largest of the Yezo streams. It was much swollen by the 
previous day's rain; and as the ferry-boat was carried away 
we had to swim it, and the swim seemed very long. Of course, 
we and the baggage got very wet The coolness with which 
the Aino guide took to the water without giving us any notice 
that its broad, eddying flood was a swim, and not a ford, was 
very amusing. 

From the top of a steepish ascent beyond the Osharugawa 
there is a view into what looks like a very lovely lake, with 
wooded promontories, and little bays, and rocky capes in 
miniature, and little heights, on which Aino houses, with tawny 
roofs, are clustered; and then the track dips suddenly, and 
deposits one, not by a lake at all, but on Usu Bay, an inlet of 
the Pacific, much broken up into coves, and with a very 
narrow entrance, only obvious from a few points. Just as the 
track touches the bay there is a road-post, with a prayer-wheel 
in it, and by the shore an upright stone of very large size, 
inscribed with Sanskrit characters, near to a stone staircase 
and a gateway in a massive stone-faced embankment, which 
looked much out of keeping with the general wildness of the 
place. On a rocky promontory in a wooded cove there is a 
large, rambling house, greatly out of repair, inhabited by a 
Japanese man and his son, who are placed there to look after 
Government interests, exiles among 500 Ainos. From among 
the number of rat-haunted, rambling rooms which had once 
been handsome, I chose one opening on a yard or garden 
with some distorted yews in it, but found that the great gate- 
way and the amado had no bolts, and that anything might be 
appropriated by any one with dishonest intentions; but the 
house-master and his son, who have lived for ten years among 
the Ainos, and speak their language, say that nothing is ever 
taken, and that the Ainos are thoroughly honest and harmless. 
Without this assurance I should have been distrustful of the 
number of wide-mouthed youths who hung about, in the list- 
lessness and vacuity of savagery, if not of the bearded men 
who sat or stood about the gateway with children in their 


Usu is a dream of beauty and peace. There is not much 
difference between the height of high and low water on this 
coast, and the lake-like illusion would have been perfect had 
it not been that the rocks were tinged with gold for a foot or 
so above the sea by a delicate species of fucus. In the 
exquisite inlet where I spent the night trees and trailers 
drooped into the water and were mirrored in it, their green, 
heavy shadows lying sharp against the sunset gold and pink of 
the rest of the bay ; log canoes, with planks laced upon their 
gunwales to heighten them, were drawn upon a tiny beach of 
golden sand, and in the shadiest cove, moored to a tree, 
an antique and much-carved junk was " floating double." 
Wooded, rocky knolls, with Aino huts, the vermilion peaks of 
the volcano of Usu-taki redder than ever in the sinking sun, a 
few Ainos mending their nets, a few more spreading edible 
seaweed out to dry, a single canoe breaking the golden mirror 
of the cove by its noiseless motion, a few Aino loungers, with 
their "mild-eyed, melancholy" faces and quiet ways suiting 
the quiet evening scene, the unearthly sweetness of a temple 
bell this was all, and yet it was the loveliest picture I have 
seen in Japan. 

In spite of Ito's remonstrances and his protestations that 
an exceptionally good supper would be spoiled, I left my rat- 
haunted room, with its tarnished gilding and precarious fusuma, 
to get the last of the pink and lemon-coloured glory, going up 
the staircase in the stone-faced embankment, and up a broad, 
well-paved avenue, to a large temple, within whose open door 
I sat for some time absolutely alone, and in a wonderful 
stillness; for the sweet-toned bell which vainly chimes for 
vespers amidst this bear-worshipping population had ceased. 
This temple was the first symptom of Japanese religion that 
I remember to have seen since leaving Hakodate, and wor- 
shippers have long since ebbed away from its shady and 
moss-grown courts. Yet it stands there to protest for the 
teaching of the great Hindu ; and generations of Aino heathen 
pass away one after another ; and still its bronze bell tolls, and 
its altar lamps are lit, and incense burns for ever before 
Buddha. The characters on the great bell of this temple are 
said to be the same lines which are often graven on temple 
bells, and to possess the dignity of twenty-four centuries : 


" All things are transient ; 
They being born must die, 
And being born are dead ; 
And being dead are glad 
To be at rest." 

The temple is very handsome, the baldachino is superb, and 
the bronzes and brasses on the altar are specially fine. A 
broad ray of sunlight streamed in, crossed the matted floor, 
and fell full upon the figure of Sakya-muni in his golden 
shrine ; and just at that moment a shaven priest, in silk- 
brocaded vestments of faded green, silently passed down the 
stream of light, and lit the candles on the altar, and fresh 
incense filled the temple with a drowsy fragrance. It was a 
most impressive picture. His curiosity evidently shortened 
his devotions, and he came and asked me where I had been 
and where I was going, to which, of course, I replied in 
excellent Japanese, and then stuck fast. 

Along the paved avenue, besides the usual stone trough 
for holy water, there are on one side the thousand-armed 
Kwan-non, a very fine relief, and on the other a Buddha, 
throned on the eternal lotus blossom, with an iron staff, much 
resembling a crozier, in his hand, and that eternal apathy on 
his face which is the highest hope of those who hope at all. 
I went through a wood, where there are some mournful groups 
of graves on the hillside, and from the temple came the sweet 
sound of the great bronze bell and the beat of the big drum, 
and then, more faintly, the sound of the little bell and drum, 
with which the priest accompanies his ceaseless repetition of a 
phrase in the dead tongue of a distant land There is an 
infinite pathos about the lonely temple in its splendour, the 
absence of even possible worshippers, and the large population 
of Ainos, sunk in yet deeper superstitions than those which go 
to make up popular Buddhism. I sat on a rock by the bay 
till the last pink glow faded from Usu-taki and the last lemon 
stain from the still water; and a beautiful crescent, which 
hung over the wooded hill, had set, and the heavens blazed 
with stars : 

" Ten thousand stars were in the sky, 

Ten thousand in the sea, 
And every wave with dimpled face, 

That leapt upon the air, 


Had caught a star in its embrace, 
And held it trembling there." 

The loneliness of Usu Bay is something wonderful a 
house full of empty rooms falling to decay, with only two men 
in it one Japanese house among 500 savages, yet it was the 
only one in which I have slept in which they bolted neither 
the amado nor the gate. During the night the amado fell out 
of the worn-out grooves with a crash, knocking down the shdji, 
which fell on me, and rousing Ito, who rushed into my room 
half-asleep, with a vague vision of blood-thirsty Ainos in his 
mind. I then learned what I have been very stupid not to 
have learned before, that in these sliding wooden shutters 
there is a small door through which one person can creep at a 
time called the jishindo^ or "earthquake door," because it 
provides an exit during the alarm of an earthquake, in case of 
the amado sticking in their grooves, or their bolts going wrong, 
I believe that such a door exists in all Japanese houses. 

The next morning was as beautiful as the previous evening, 
rose and gold instead of gold and pink. Before the sun was 
well up I visited a number of the Aino lodges, saw the bear, 
and the chief, who, like all the rest, is a monogamist, and, 
after breakfast, at my request, some of the old men came to 
give me such information as they had. These venerable elders 
sat cross-legged in the verandah, the house-master's son, who 
kindly acted as interpreter, squatting, Japanese fashion, at the 
side, and about thirty Ainos, mostly women, with infants, 
sitting behind. I spent about two hours in going over the 
same ground as at Biratori, and also went over the words, 
and got some more, including some synonyms. The click of 
the ts before the ch at the beginning of a word is strongly 
marked among these Ainos. Some of their customs differ 
slightly from those of their brethren of the interior, specially 
as to the period of seclusion after a death, the non-allowance 
of polygamy to the chief, and the manner of killing the bear 
at the annual festival Their ideas of metempsychosis are 
more definite, but this, I think, is to be accounted for by the 
influence and proximity of Buddhism. They spoke of the 
bear as their chief god, and next the sun and fire. They said 
that they no longer worship the wolf, and that though they 
call the volcano and many other things kamoi) or god, they do 



not worship them. I ascertained beyond doubt that worship 
with them means simply making libations of sake and " drinking 
to the god," and that it is unaccompanied by petitions, or any 
vocal or mental act. 

These Ainos are as dark as the people of southern Spain, 
and very hairy. Their expression is earnest and pathetic, and 
when they smiled, as they did when I could not pronounce 
their words, their faces had a touching sweetness which was 
quite beautiful, and European, not Asiatic. Their own im- 
pression is that they are now increasing in numbers after 
diminishing for many years. I left Usu sleeping in the 
loveliness of an autumn noon with great regret. No place 
that I have seen has fascinated me so much. 



LETTER XL. (Continued.} 

The Sea-shore A "Hairy Aino" A Horse Fight The Horses of Yezo 
' ' Bad Mountains " A Slight Accident Magnificent Scenery A 
Bleached Halting- Place A Musty Room Aino "Good-breeding." 

A CHARGE of 3 sen per ri more for the horses for the next 
stage, because there were such "bad mountains to cross," 
prepared me for what followed many miles of the worst road 
for horses I ever saw. I should not have complained if they 
had charged double the price. As an almost certain conse- 
quence, it was one of the most picturesque routes I have ever 
travelled. For some distance, however, it runs placidly along 
by the sea-shore, on which big, blue, foam-crested rollers were 
disporting themselves noisily, and passes through several Aino 
hamlets, and the Aino village of Abuta, with sixty houses, 
rather a prosperous-looking place, where the cultivation was 
considerably more careful, and the people possessed a number 
of horses. Several of the houses were surrounded by bears' 
skulls grinning from between the forked tops of high poles, and 
there was a well-grown bear ready for his doom and apotheosis. 
In nearly all the houses a woman was weaving bark-cloth, with 
the hook which holds the web fixed into the ground several 
feet outside the house. At a deep river called the Nopkobets, 
which emerges from the mountains close to the sea, we were 
ferried by an Aino completely covered with hair, which on his 
shoulders was wavy like that of a retriever, and rendered 
clothing quite needless either for covering or warmth. A 
wavy, black beard rippled nearly to his waist over his furry 
chest, and, with his black locks hanging in masses over his 
shoulders, he would have looked a thorough savage had it not 
been for the exceeding sweetness of his smile and eyes. The 
Volcano Bay Ainos are far more hairy than the mountain 


Ainos, but even among them it is quite common to see men 
not more so than vigorous Europeans, and I think that the 
hairiness of the race as a distinctive feature has been much 
exaggerated, partly by the smooth-skinned Japanese. 

The ferry scow was nearly upset by our four horses 
beginning to fight At first one bit the shoulders of another ; 
then the one attacked uttered short, sharp squeals, and returned 
the attack by striking with his fore feet, and then there was a 
general tn&tic of striking and biting, till some ugly wounds 
were inflicted. I have watched fights of this kind on a large 
scale every day in the corral. The miseries of the Yezo 
horses are the great drawback of Yezo travelling. They are 
brutally used, and are covered with awful wounds from being 
driven at a fast " scramble " with the rude, ungirthed pack- 
saddle and its heavy load rolling about on their backs, and they 
are beaten unmercifully over their eyes and ears with heavy 
sticks. Ito has been barbarous to these gentle, little-prized 
animals ever since we came to Yezo ; he has vexed me more 
by this than by anything else, especially as he never dared even 
to carry a switch on the main island, either from fear of 
the horses or their owners. To-day he was beating the bag- 
gage horse unmercifully, when I rode back and interfered with 
some very strong language, saying, " You are a bully, and, like 
all bullies, a coward." Imagine my aggravation when, at our 
first halt, he brought out his note-book, as usual, and quietly 
asked me the meaning of the words "bully" and "coward." 
It was perfectly impossible to explain them, so I said a bully 
was the worst name I could call him, and that a coward was 
the meanest thing a man could be. Then the provoking boy 
said, "Is bully a worse name than devil?" "Yes, far worse," 
I said, on which he seemed rather crestfallen, and he has not 
beaten his horse since, in my sight at least 

The breaking-in process is simply breaking the spirit by an 
hour or two of such atrocious cruelty as I saw at Shiraoi, at 
the end of which the horse, covered with foam and blood, and 
bleeding from mouth and nose, falls down exhausted. Being 
so ill used they have all kinds of tricks, such as lying down in 
fords, throwing themselves down head foremost and rolling 
over pack and rider, bucking, and resisting attempts to make 
them go otherwise than in single file. Instead of bits they 


have bars of wood on each side of the mouth, secured by a 
rope round the nose and chin. When horses which have been 
broken with bits gallop they put up their heads till the nose is 
level with the ears, and it is useless to try either to guide or 
check them. They are always wanting to join the great herds 
on the hillside or sea-shore, from which they are only driven 
down as they are needed. In every Yezo village the first 
sound that one hears at break of day is the gallop of forty or 
fifty horses, pursued by an Aino, who has hunted them from 
the hills. A horse is worth from twenty-eight shillings upwards. 
They are very sure-footed when their feet are not sore, and 
cross a stream or chasm on a single rickety plank, or walk on a 
narrow ledge above a river or gulch without fear. They are 
barefooted, their hoofs are very hard, and I am glad to be rid of 
the perpetual tying and untying and replacing of the straw shoes 
of the well-cared-for horses of the main island. A man rides 
with them, and for a man and three horses the charge is only 
sixpence for each 2^ miles. I am now making Ito ride in 
front of me, to make sure that he does not beat or otherwise 
misuse his beast 

After crossing the Nopkobets, from which the fighting 
horses have led me to make so long a digression, we went 
right up into the "bad mountains," and crossed the three 
tremendous passes of Lebunge"toge. Except by saying that 
this disused bridle-track is impassable, people have scarcely 
exaggerated its difficulties. One horse broke down on the 
first pass, and we were long delayed by sending the Aino back 
for another. Possibly these extraordinary passes do not 
exceed 1 500 feet in height, but the track ascends them through 
a dense forest with most extraordinary abruptness, to descend 
as abruptly, to rise again sometimes by a series of nearly 
washed-away zigzags, at others by a straight, ladder-like ascent 
deeply channelled, the bottom of the trough being filled with 
rough stones, large and small, or with ledges of rock with an 
entangled mass of branches and trailers overhead, which 
render it necessary to stoop over the horse's head while he is 
either fumbling, stumbling, or tumbling among the stones in a 
gash a foot wide, or else is awkwardly leaping up broken rock 
steps nearly the height of his chest, the whole performance con- 
sisting of a series of scrambling jerks at the rate of a mile an hour. 


In one of the worst places the Aino's horse, which was 
just in front of mine, in trying to scramble up a nearly breast- 
high and much-worn ledge, fell backwards, nearly overturning 
my horse, the stretcher poles, which formed part of his pack, 
striking me so hard above my ankle that for some minutes after- 
wards I thought the bone was broken. The ankle was severely 
cut and bruised, and bled a good deal, and I was knocked out 
of the saddle. Ito's horse fell three times, and eventually the 
four were roped together. Such are some of the divertisse- 
ments of Yezo travel 

Ah, but it was glorious ! The views are most magnificent. 
This is really Paradise. Everything is here huge headlands 
magnificently timbered, small, deep bays into which the great 
green waves roll majestically, great, grey cliffs, too perpend- 
icular for even the most adventurous trailer to find root-hold, 
bold bluffs and outlying stacks cedar-crested, glimpses of 
bright, blue ocean dimpling in the sunshine or tossing up 
wreaths of foam among ferns and trailers, and inland ranges of 
mountains forest-covered, with tremendous gorges between, 
forest filled, where wolf, bear, and deer make their nearly 
inaccessible lairs, and outlying battlements, and ridges of grey 
rock with hardly six feet of level on their sinuous tops, and 
cedars in masses giving deep shadow, and sprays of scarlet 
maple or festoons of a crimson vine lighting the gloom. The 
inland view suggested infinity. There seemed no limit to the 
forest-covered mountains and the unlighted ravines. The 
wealth of vegetation was equal in luxuriance and entanglement 
to that of the tropics, primeval vegetation, on which the 
lumberer's axe has never rung. Trees of immense height and 
girth, specially the beautiful Sahsburia adiantifolia., with its 
small fan-shaped leaves, all matted together by riotous lianas, 
rise out of an impenetrable undergrowth of the dwarf, dark- 
leaved bamboo, which, dwarf as it is, attains a height of seven 
feet, and all is dark, solemn, soundless, the haunt of wild 
beasts, and of butterflies and dragonflies of the most brilliant 
colours. There was light without heat, leaves and streams 
sparkled, and there was nothing of the half-smothered sensa- 
tion which is often produced by the choking greenery of the 
main island, for frequently, far below, the Pacific flashed in all 
its sunlit beauty, and occasionally we came down unexpectedly 


on a little cove with abrupt cedar-crested headlands and stacks, 
and a heavy surf rolling in with the deep thunder music which 
alone breaks the stillness of this silent land. 

There was one tremendous declivity where I got off to 
walk, but found it too steep to descend on foot with comfort. 
You can imagine how steep it was, when I tell you that the 
deep groove being too narrow for me to get to the side of my 
horse, I dropped down upon him from behind, between his 
tail and the saddle, and so scrambled on ! 

The sun had set and the dew was falling heavily when the 
track dipped over the brow of a headland, becoming a water- 
way so steep and rough that I could not get down it on foot 
without the assistance of my hands, and terminating on a 
lonely little bay of great beauty, walled in by impracticable- 
looking headlands, which was the entrance to an equally 
impracticable -looking, densely- wooded valley running up 
among densely-wooded mountains. There was a margin of 
grey sand above the sea, and on this the skeleton of an 
enormous whale was bleaching. Two or three large " dug- 
outs," with planks laced with stout fibre on their gunwales, 
and some bleached drift-wood lay on the beach, the foreground 
of a solitary, rambling, dilapidated grey house, bleached like 
all else, where three Japanese men with an old Aino servant 
live to look after " Government interests," whatever these may 
be, and keep rooms and horses for Government officials a 
great boon to travellers who, like me, are belated here. Only 
one person has passed Lebunge" this year, except two officials 
and a policeman. 

There was still a red glow on the water, and one horn of a 
young moon appeared above the wooded headland ; but the 
loneliness and isolation are overpowering, and it is enough to 
produce madness to be shut in for ever with the thunder of 
the everlasting surf, which compels one to raise one's voice in 
order to be heard. In the wood, half a mile from the sea, 
there is an Aino village of thirty houses, and the appearance 
of a few of the savages gliding noiselessly over the beach in 
the twilight added to the ghastliness and loneliness of the 
scene. The horses were unloaded by the time I arrived, and 
several courteous Ainos showed me to my room, opening on a 
small courtyard with a heavy gate. The room was musty, and, 



being rarely used, swarmed with spiders. A saucer of fish-oil 
and a wick rendered darkness visible, and showed faintly the 
dark, pathetic faces of a row of Ainos in the verandah, who 
retired noiselessly with their graceful salutation when I bade 
them good-night. Food was hardly to be expected, yet they 
gave me rice, potatoes, and black beans boiled in equal parts 
of brine and syrup, which are very palatable. The cuts and 
bruises of yesterday became so very painful with the cold of 
the early morning that I have been obliged to remain here. 

I. L. E. 




A Group of Fathers The Lebunge' Ainos The Salisburia adiantifolia A 
Family Group The Missing Link Oshamambe' Disorderly Horses 
The River Yurapu The Seaside Aino Canoes The Last Morning 
Dodging Europeans. 

HAKODAT^, September 12. 

LEBUNGE is a most fascinating place in its awful isolation. 
The house-master was a friendly man, and much attached to 
the Ainos. If other officials entrusted with Aino concerns 
treat the Ainos as fraternally as those of Usu and Lebunge", 
there is not much to lament. This man also gave them a 
high character for honesty and harmlessness, and asked if they 
might come and see me before I left ; so twenty men, mostly 
carrying very pretty children, came into the yard with the 
horses. They had never seen a foreigner, but, either from 
apathy or politeness, they neither stare nor press upon one as 
the Japanese do, and always make a courteous recognition. 
The bear-skin housing of my saddle pleased them very much, 
and my boots of unblacked leather, which they compare to 
the deer-hide moccasins which they wear for winter hunting. 
Their voices were the lowest and most musical that I have 
heard, incongruous sounds to proceed from such hairy, 
powerful -looking men. Their love for their children was 
most marked. They caressed them tenderly, and held them 
aloft for notice, and when the house-master told them how 
much I admired the brown, dark-eyed, winsome creatures, 
their faces lighted with pleasure, and they saluted me over and 
over again. These, like other Ainos, utter a short screeching 
sound when they are not pleased, and then one recognises the 

These Lebunge" Ainos differ considerably from those of the 


eastern villages, and I have again to notice the decided sound 
or click of the is at the beginning of many words. Their skins 
are as swarthy as those of Bedaween, their foreheads com- 
paratively low, their eyes far more deeply set, their stature 
lower, their hair yet more abundant, the look of wistful 
melancholy more marked, and two, who were unclothed for 
hard work in fashioning a canoe, were almost entirely covered 
with short, black hair, specially thick on the shoulders and 
back, and so completely concealing the skin as to reconcile 
one to the lack of clothing. I noticed an enormous breadth 
of chest, and a great development of the muscles of the arms 
and legs. All these Ainos shave their hair off for two inches 
above their brows, only allowing it there to attain the length 
of an inch. Among the well-clothed Ainos in the yard there 
was one smooth-faced, smooth -skinned, concave-chested, 
spindle -limbed, yellow Japanese, with no other clothing 
than the decorated bark-cloth apron which the Ainos wear 
in addition to their coats and leggings. Escorted by these 
gentle, inendly savages, I visited their lodges, which are very 
small and poor, and in every way inferior to those of the 
mountain Ainos. The women are short and thick-set, and 
most uncomely. 

From their village I started for the longest, and by re- 
putation the worst, stage of my journey, seventeen miles, the 
first ten of which are over mountains. So solitary and disused 
is this track that on a four days' journey we have not met 
a human being. In the Lebung valley, which is densely 
forested, and abounds with fordable streams and treacherous 
ground, I came upon a grand specimen of the Salisburia 
adiantifolia, which, at a height of three feet from the ground, 
divides into eight lofty stems, none of them less than 2 feet 5 
inches in diameter. This tree, which grows rapidly, is so well 
adapted to our climate that I wonder it has not been intro- 
duced on a large scale, as it may be seen by everybody in Kew 
Gardens. There is another tree with orbicular leaves in pairs, 
which grows to an immense size. 

From this valley a worn-out, stony bridle-track ascends the 
western side of Lebunge"toge", climbing through a dense forest 
of trees and trailers to a height of about 2000 feet, where, con- 
tented with its efforts, it reposes, and, with only slight ups and 


downs, continues along the top of a narrow ridge within the 
seaward mountains, between high walls of dense bamboo, 
which, for much of that day's journey, is the undergrowth alike 
of mountain and valley, ragged peak, and rugged ravine. The 
scenery was as magnificent as on the previous day. A guide 
was absolutely needed, as the track ceased altogether in one 
place, and for some time the horses had to blunder their way 
along a bright, rushing river, swirling rapidly downwards, 
heavily bordered with bamboo, full of deep holes, and made 
difficult by trees which have fallen across it There Ito, whose 
horse could not keep up with the others, was lost, or rather lost 
himself, which led to a delay of two hours. I have never seen 
grander forest than on that two days' ride. 

At last the track, barely passable after its recovery, dips 
over a precipitous bluff, and descends close to the sea, which 
has evidently receded considerably. Thence it runs for six 
miles on a level, sandy strip, covered near the sea with a dwarf 
bamboo about five inches high, and farther inland with red 
roses and blue campanula. 

At the foot of the bluff there is a ruinous Japanese house, 
where an Aino family has been placed to give shelter and rest 
to any who may be crossing the pass. I opened my bento bako 
of red lacquer, and found that it contained some cold, waxy 
potatoes, on which I dined, with the addition of some tea, and 
then waited wearily for Ito, for whom the guide went in search. 
The house and its inmates were a study. The ceiling was 
gone, and all kinds of things, for which I could not imagine 
any possible use, hung from the blackened rafters. Everything 
was broken and decayed, and the dirt was appalling. A very 
ugly Aino woman, hardly human in her ugliness, was splitting 
bark fibre. There were several irori, Japanese fashion, and at 
one of them a grand-looking old man was seated apathetically 
contemplating the boiling of a pot Old, and sitting among 
ruins, he represented the fate of a race which, living, has no 
history, and perishing leaves no monument. By the other irori 
sat, or rather crouched, the " MISSING LINK." I was startled 
when I first saw it. It was shall I say ? a man, and the mate, 
I cannot write the husband, of the ugly woman. It was about 
fifty. The lofty Aino brow had been made still loftier by 
shaving the head for three inches above it The hair hung, 


act in shocks, but in snaky wisps, mingling with a beard whicn 
was grey and matted. The eyes were dark but vacant, and 
the face had no other expression than that look of apathetic 
melancholy which one sometimes sees on the faces of captive 
beasts. The arms and legs were unnaturally long and thin, 
and the creature sat with the knees tucked into the armpits. 
The limbs and body, with the exception of a patch on each 
side, were thinly covered with fine black hair, more than an 
inch long, which was slightly curly on the shoulders. It 
showed no other sign of intelligence than that evidenced by 
boiling water for my tea. When Ito arrived he looked at it 
with disgust, exclaiming, " The Ainos are just dogs ; they had 
a dog for their father," in allusion to their own legend of their 

The level was pleasant after the mountains, and a canter 
took us pleasantly to Oshamambe", where we struck the old 
road from Mori to Satsuporo, and where I halted for a day to 
rest my spine, from which I was suffering much. Oshamambe" 
looks dismal even in the sunshine, decayed and dissipated, with 
many people lounging about in it doing nothing, with the 
dazed look which over-indulgence in sake gives to the eyes. 
The sun was scorching hot, and I was glad to find refuge from 
it in a crowded and dilapidated yadoya, where there were no 
black beans, and the use of eggs did not appear to be recog- 
nised. My room was only enclosed by shdji> and there were 
scarcely five minutes of the day in which eyes were not ap- 
plied to the finger-holes with which they were liberally riddled ; 
and during the night one of them fell down, revealing six 
Japanese sleeping in a row, each head on a wooden pillow. 

The grandeur of the route ceased with the mountain-passes, 
but in the brilliant sunshine the ride from Oshamambe' to 
Mori, which took me two days, was as pretty and pleasant as 
it could be. At first we got on very slowly, as besides my 
four horses there were four led ones going home, which got up 
fights and entangled their ropes, and occasionally lay down 
and rolled ; and besides these there were three foals following 
their mothers, and if they stayed behind the mares hung back 
neighing, and if they frolicked ahead the mares wanted to 
look after them, and the whole string showed a combined in- 
clination to dispense with their riders and join the many herds 


of horses which we passed. It was so tedious that, after en- 
during it for some time, I got Ito's horse and mine into a 
scow at a river of some size, and left the disorderly drove to 
follow at leisure. 

At Yurapu, where there is an Aino village of thirty houses, 
we saw the last of the aborigines, and the interest of the jour- 
ney ended. Strips of hard sand below high-water mark, strips 
of red roses, ranges of wooded mountains, rivers deep and 
shallow, a few villages of old grey houses amidst grey sand and 
bleaching driftwood, and then came the river Yurapu, a broad, 
deep stream, navigable in a canoe for fourteen miles. The 
scenery there was truly beautiful in the late and splendid after- 
noon. The long blue waves rolled on shore, each one crested 
with light as it curled before it broke, and hurled its snowy 
drift for miles along the coast with a deep booming music. 
The glorious inland view was composed of six ranges of forest- 
covered mountains, broken, chasmed, caverned, and dark with 
timber, and above them bald, grey peaks rose against a green 
sky of singular purity. I longed to take a boat up the Yurapu, 
which penetrates by many a gorge into their solemn recesses, 
but had not strength to carry my wish. 

After this I exchanged the silence or low musical speech 
of Aino guides for the harsh and ceaseless clatter of Japanese. 
At Yamakushinoi, a small hamlet on the sea-shore, where I 
slept, there was a sweet, quiet yadoya^ delightfully situated, 
with a wooded cliff at the back, over which a crescent hung 
out of a pure sky; and besides, there were the more solid 
pleasures of fish, eggs, and black beans. Thus, instead of 
being starved and finding wretched accommodation, the week 
I spent on Volcano Bay has been the best fed, as it was cer- 
tainly the most comfortable, week of my travels in northern 

Another glorious day favoured my ride to Mori, but I was 
unfortunate in my horse at each stage, and the Japanese guide 
was grumpy and ill-natured a most unusual thing. Otoshibd 
and a few other small villages of grey houses, with " an ancient 
and fish-like smell," lie along the coast, busy enough doubtless 
in the season, but now looking deserted and decayed, and 
houses are rather plentifully sprinkled along many parts of the 
shore, with a wonderful profusion of vegetables and flowers 


about them, raised from seeds liberally supplied by the Kaita- 
kushi Department from its Nanai experimental farm and 
nurseries. For a considerable part of the way to Mori there 
is no track at all, though there is a good deal of travel One 
makes one's way fatiguingly along soft sea sand or coarse 
shingle close to the sea, or absolutely in it, under cliffs of 
hardened clay or yellow conglomerate, fording many small 
streams, several of which have cut their way deeply through a 
stratum of black volcanic sand. I have crossed about 100 
rivers and streams on the Yezo coast, and all the larger ones 
are marked by a most noticeable peculiarity, i.e. that on near- 
ing the sea they turn south, and run for some distance parallel 
with it, before they succeed in finding an exit through the 
bank of sand and shingle which forms the beach and blocks 
their progress. 

On the way I saw two Ainos land through the surf in a 
canoe, in which they had paddled for nearly 100 miles. A 
river canoe is dug out of a single log, and two men can fashion 
one in five days ; but on examining this one, which was twenty- 
five feet long, I found that it consisted of two halves, laced to- 
gether with very strong bark fibre for their whole length, and 
with high sides also laced on. They consider that they are 
stronger for rough sea and surf work when made in two parts. 
Their bark-fibre rope is beautifully made, and they twist it of 
all sizes, from twine up to a nine-inch hawser. 

Beautiful as the blue ocean was, I had too much of it, for 
the horses were either walking in a lather of sea foam or were 
crowded between the cliff and the sea, every larger wave 
breaking over my foot and irreverently splashing my face ; and 
the surges were so loud-tongued and incessant, throwing them- 
selves on the beach with a tremendous boom, and drawing the 
shingle back with them with an equally tremendous rattle, so 
impolite and noisy, bent only on showing their strength, 
reckless, rude, self-willed, and inconsiderate I This purposeless 
display of force, and this incessant waste of power, and the 
noisy self-assertion in both, approach vulgarity ! 

Towards evening we crossed the last of the bridgeless 
rivers, and put up at Mori, which I left three weeks before, and 
I was very thankful to have accomplished my object without 
disappointment, disaster, or any considerable discomfort Had 


I not promised to return Ito to his master by a given day, I 
should like to spend the next six weeks in the Yezo wilds, for 
the climate is good, the scenery beautiful, and the objects of 
interest are many. 

Another splendid day favoured my ride from Mori to 
Toge'noshita, where I remained for the night, and I had 
exceptionally good horses for both days, though the one which 
Ito rode, while going at a rapid "scramble," threw himself 
down three times and rolled over to rid himself from flies. I 
had not admired the wood between Mori and Ginsainoma 
(the lakes) on the sullen, grey day on which I saw it before, 
but this time there was an abundance of light and shadow and 
solar glitter, and many a scarlet spray and crimson trailer, and 
many a maple flaming in the valleys, gladdened me with the 
music of colour. From the top of the pass beyond the lakes 
there is a grand view of the volcano in all its nakedness, with 
its lava beds and fields of pumice, with the lakes of Onuma, 
Konuma, and Ginsainoma, lying in the forests at its feet, and 
from the top of another hill there is a remarkable view of 
windy Hakodate*, with its headland looking like Gibraltar. 
The slopes of this hill are covered with the Aconitum Japonicum, 
of which the Ainos make their arrow poison. 

The yadoya at Toge'noshita was a very pleasant and friendly 
one, and when Ito woke me yesterday morning, saying, " Are 
you sorry that it's the last morning ? I am," I felt we had 
one subject in common, for I was very sorry to end my plea- 
sant Yezo tour, and very sorry to part with the boy who had 
made himself more useful and invaluable even than before. 
It was most wearisome to have Hakodate" in sight for twelve 
miles, so near across the bay, so far across the long, flat, stony 
strip which connects the headland upon which it is built with 
the mainland. For about three miles the road is rudely 
macadamised, and as soon as the bare-footed horses get upon 
it they seem lame of all their legs ; they hang back, stumbling, 
dragging, edging to the side, and trying to run down every 
opening, so that when we got into the interminable main street 
I sent Ito on to the Consulate for my letters, and dismounted, 
hoping that as it was raining I should not see any foreigners ; 
but I was not so lucky, for first I met Mr. Dening, and then, 
seeing the Consul and Dr. Hepburn coming do*n the road, 



evidently dressed for dining in the flag-ship, and looking 
spruce and clean, I dodged up an alley to avoid them ; but 
they saw me, and did not wonder that I wished to escape 
notice, for my old betto's hat, my torn green paper waterproof, 
and my riding-skirt and boots, were not only splashed but 
caked 'with mud, and I had the general look of a person "fresh 
from the wilds." I. L. B. 


Hakodat^ to 

No. of Houses. 

Jap. Aino. 

Ginsainoma . 


Mori . 


Mororan . . 


Horobets . 

18 47 

Shiraoi . . 

. ii 51 

Tomakomai . 


Yubcts . . 

7 3 

Sarufuto . . 


Biratori . . 


Mombets . . 


From Horobets to 

* Jap. Aino. 

Old Mororan 

9 30 

Usu . . . 

".3 99 

Lebunge . . 

. I 27 

Oshamambe . 

56 38 



Otoshibe . . 


Mori . 

- i5 

Togenoshita . 


Hakodate . 

37,000 souls 





















About 358 English miles. 



Pleasant Last Impressions The Japanese Junk Ito Disappears My 
Letter of Thanks. 

HAKODAT&, YBZO, September 14, 1878. 

THIS is my last day in Yezo, and the sun, shining brightly 
over the grey and windy capital, is touching the pink peaks of 
Komono-taki with a deeper red, and is brightening my last 
impressions, which, like my first, are very pleasant. The bay 
is deep blue, flecked with violet shadows, and about sixty junks 
are floating upon it at anchor. There are vessels of foreign rig 
too, but the wan, pale junks lying motionless, or rolling into 
the harbour under their great white sails, fascinate me as when 
I first saw them in the Gulf of Yedo. They are antique- 
looking and picturesque, but are fitter to give interest to a 
picture than to battle with stormy seas. 

Most of the junks in the bay are about 120 tons burthen, 
100 feet long, with an extreme beam, far aft, of twenty- 
five feet. The bow is long, and curves into a lofty stem, like 
that of a Roman galley, finished with a beak head, to secure 
the forestay of the mast. This beak is furnished with two 
large, goggle eyes. The mast is a ponderous spar, fifty feet 
high, composed of pieces of pine, pegged, glued, and hooped 
together. A heavy yard is hung amidships. The sail is an 
oblong of widths of strong, white cotton artistically "puckered? 
not sewn together, but laced vertically, leaving a decorative 
lacing six inches wide between each two widths. Instead of 
reefing in a strong wind, a width is unlaced, so as to reduce 
the canvas vertically, not horizontally. Two blue spheres 
commonly adorn the sail. The mast is placed well abaft, and 
to tack or veer it is only necessary to reverse the sheet When 
on a wind the long bow and nose serve as a head-sail. The 


high, square, piled-up stern, with its antique carving, and the 
sides with their lattice-work, are wonderful, together with the 
extraordinary size and projection of the rudder, and the length 
of the tiller. The anchors are of grapnel shape, and the larger 
junks have from six to eight arranged on the fore-end, giving 
one an idea of bad holding-ground along the coast. They 
really are much like the shape of a Chinese " small-footed " 
woman's shoe, and look very unmanageable. They are of 
unpainted wood, and have a wintry, ghastly look about them. 1 
I have parted with Ito finally to-day, with great regret. 
He has served me faithfully, and on most common topics I 
can get much more information through him than from any 
foreigner. I miss him already, though he insisted on packing 
for me as usual, and put all my things in order. His clever- 
ness is something surprising. He goes to a good, manly 
master, who will help him to be good and set him a virtuous 
example, and that is a satisfaction. Before he left he wrote a 
letter for me to the Governor of Mororan, thanking him on 
my behalf for the use of the kuruma and other courtesies. 

I. L. B. 

1 The duty paid by junks is 43. for each twenty-five tons, by sailing ships of 
foreign shape and rig 2 for each 100 tons, and by steamers ^"3 for each 100 



Pleasant Prospects A Miserable Disappointment Caught in a Typhoon A 
Dense Fog Alarmist Rumours A Welcome at Tokiyfi The Last of the 

H. B.M.'s LEGATION, YEDO, September 21. 

A PLACID sea, which after much disturbance had sighed itself 
to rest, and a high, steady barometer promised a fifty hours' 
passage to Yokohama, and when Dr. and Mrs. Hepburn and 
I left Hakodate", by moonlight, on the night of the i4th, as 
the only passengers in the Hiogo Maru, Captain Moore, her 
genial, pleasant master, congratulated us on the rapid and 
delightful passage before us, and we separated at midnight 
with many projects for pleasant intercourse and occupation. 

But a more miserable voyage I never made, and it was 
not until the afternoon of the iyth that we crawled forth from 
our cabins to speak to each other. On the second day out, 
great heat came on with suffocating closeness, the mercury 
rose to 85, and in lat 38 o' N. and long. 141 30' E. we 
encountered a "typhoon," otherwise a "cyclone," otherwise a 
" revolving hurricane," which lasted for twenty-five hours, and 
"jettisoned" the cargo. Captain Moor has given me a very 
interesting diagram of it, showing the attempts which he made 
to avoid its vortex, through which our course would have taken 
us, and to keep as much outside it as possible. The typhoon 
was succeeded by a dense fog, so that our fifty-hour passage 
became seventy-two hours, and we landed at Yokohama near 
upon midnight of the lyth, to find traces of much disaster, 
the whole low-lying country flooded, the railway between 
Yokohama and the capital impassable, great anxiety about the 
rice crop, the air full of alarmist rumours, and paper money, 
which was about par when 1 arrived in May, at a discount of 


13 per cent! In the early part of this year (1880) it has 
touched 42 per cent. 

Late in the afternoon the railroad was re-opened, and I 
came here with Mr. Wilkinson, glad to settle down to a period 
of rest and ease under this hospitable roof. The afternoon 
was bright and sunny, and Tokiyo was looking its best. The 
long lines of yashikis looked handsome, the castle moat was 
so full of the gigantic leaves of the lotus, that the water was 
hardly visible, the grass embankments of the upper moat were 
a brilliant green, the pines on their summits stood out boldly 
against the clear sky, the hill on which the Legation stands 
looked dry and cheerful, and, better than all, I had a most 
kindly welcome from those who have made this house my 
home in a strange land. 

Tokiyo is tranquil, that is, it is disturbed only by fears 
for the rice crop, and by the fall in satsu. The military 
mutineers have been tried, popular rumour says tortured, and 
fifty-two have been shot. The summer has been the worst 
for some years, and now dark heat, moist heat, and nearly 
ceasless rain prevail. People have been " rained up " in their 
summer quarters. " Surely it will change soon," people say, 
and they have said the same thing for three months. 

I. L. B. 



Fine Weather Cremation in Japan The Governor of T6kiy6 An Awkward 
Question An Insignificant Building Economy in Funeral Expenses 
Simplicity of the Cremation Process The Last of Japan. 

H.RM.'s LEGATION, YEDO, December 18. 

I HAVE spent the last ten days here, in settled fine weather, 
such as should have begun two months ago if the climate had 
behaved as it ought. The time has flown by in excursions, 
shopping, select little dinner-parties, farewell calls, and visits 
made with Mr. Chamberlain to the famous groves and temples 
of Ikegami, where the Buddhist bishop and priests entertained 
us in one of the guest-rooms, and to Enoshima and Kama- 
kura, "vulgar" resorts which nothing can vulgarise so long 
as Fujisan towers above them. 

I will mention but one " sight," which is so far out of the 
beaten track that it was only after prolonged inquiry that its 
whereabouts was ascertained. Among Buddhists, specially of 
the Monto sect, cremation was largely practised till it was 
forbidden five years ago, as some suppose in deference to 
European prejudices. Three years ago, however, the prohibi- 
tion was withdrawn, and in this short space of time the 
number of bodies burned has reached nearly nine thousand 
annually. Sir H. Parkes applied for permission for me to 
visit the Kirigaya ground, one of five, and after a few de- 
lays it was granted by the Governor of T6kiyo at Mr. Mori's 
request, so yesterday, attended by the Legation linguist, I 
presented myself at the fine yashiki of the Tokiyo Fu, and 
quite unexpectedly was admitted to an audience of the Gover- 
nor. Mr. Kusamoto is a well-bred gentleman, and his face 
expresses the energy and ability which he has given proof of 
possessing. He wears his European clothes becomingly, and 



in attitude, as well as manner, is easy and dignified. After 
asking me a great deal about my northern tour and the Ainos, 
he expressed a wish for candid criticism ; but as this in the 
East must not be taken literally, I merely ventured to say 
that the roads lag behind the progress made in other directions, 
upon which he entered upon explanations which doubtless 


apply to the past road-history of the country. He spoke of 
cremation and its " necessity " in large cities, and terminated 
the interview by requesting me to dismiss my interpreter and 
kuruma, as he was going to send me to Meguro in his own 
carriage with one of the Government interpreters, adding 
very courteously that it gave him pleasure to show this atten- 
tion to a guest of the British Minister, " for whose character 
and important services to Japan he has a high value." 

An hour's drive, with an extra amount of yelling from the 


bettos, took us to a suburb of little hills and valleys, where 
red camellias and feathery bamboo against backgrounds of 
cryptomeria contrast with the grey monotone of British winters, 
and, alighting at a farm road too rough for a carriage, we 
passed through fields and hedgerows to an erection which 
looks too insignificant for such solemn use. Don't expect 
any ghastly details. A longish building of " wattle and dab," 
much like the northern farmhouses, a high roof, and chimneys 
resembling those of the " oast houses " in Kent, combine with 
the rural surroundings to suggest " farm buildings " rather than 
the "funeral pyre," and all that is horrible is left to the 

The end nearest the road is a little temple, much crowded 
with images, and small, red, earthenware urns and tongs for 
sale to the relatives of deceased persons, and beyond this 
are four rooms with earthen floors and mud walls ; nothing 
noticeable about them except the height of the peaked roof 
and the dark colour of the plaster. In the middle of the 
largest are several pairs of granite supports at equal distances 
from each other, and in the smallest there is a solitary pair. 
This was literally all that was to be seen. In the large room 
several bodies are burned at one time, and the charge is only 
one yen, about 35. 8d., solitary cremation costing five yen. 
Faggots are used, and is. worth ordinarily suffices to reduce 
a human form to ashes. After the funeral service in the house 
the body is brought to the cremation ground, and is left in 
charge of the attendant, a melancholy, smoked-looking man, 
as well he may be. The richer people sometimes pay priests 
to be present during the burning, but this is not usual. There 
were five "quick-tubs" of pine hooped with bamboo in the 
larger room, containing the remains of coolies, and a few 
oblong pine chests in the small rooms containing those of 
middle-class people. At 8 P.M. each " coffin " is placed on 
the stone trestles, the faggots are lighted underneath, the 
fires are replenished during the night, and by 6 A.M. that 
which was a human being is a small heap of ashes, which is 
placed in an urn by the relatives and is honourably interred. 
In some cases the priests accompany the relations on this last 
mournful errand. Thirteen bodies were burned the night 
before my visit, but there was not the slightest odour in or 


about the building, and the interpreter told me that, owing to 
the height of the chimneys, the people of the neighbourhood 
never experience the least annoyance, even while the process 
is going on. The simplicity of the arrangement is very 
remarkable, and there can be no reasonable doubt that it 
serves the purpose of the innocuous and complete destruction 
of the corpse as well as any complicated apparatus (if not 
better), while its cheapness places it within the reach of the 
class which is most heavily burdened by ordinary funeral 
expenses. 1 This morning the Governor sent his secretary to 
present me with a translation of an interesting account of the 
practice of cremation and its introduction into Japan. 

S.S. "Volga? Christmas Eve, 1878. The snowy dome 
of Fujisan reddening in the sunrise rose above the violet 
woodlands of Mississippi Bay as we steamed out of Yokohama 
Harbour on the ipth, and three days later I saw the last of 
Japan a rugged coast, lashed by a wintry sea, 

I. L. B. 

1 The following very inaccurate but entertaining account of this expedition 
was given by the Yomi-uri-Shimbun, a daily newspaper with the largest, 
though not the most aristocratic, circulation in T6kiy6, being taken in by the 
servants and tradespeople. It is a literal translation made by Mr. Chamber- 
lain. ' ' The person mentioned in our yesterday's issue as ' an English subject 
of the name of Bird ' is a lady from Scotland, a part of England. This lady 
spends her time in travelling, leaving this year the two American continents 
for a passing visit to the Sandwich Islands, and landing in Japan early in the 
month of May. She has toured all over the country, and even made a five 
months' stay in the Hokkaidd, investigating the local customs and productions. 
Her inspection yesterday of the cremation ground at Kirigaya is believed to 
have been prompted by a knowledge of the advantages of this method of 
disposing of the dead, and a desire to introduce the same into England ( !) On 
account of this lady's being so learned as to have published a quantity of books, 
His Excellency the Governor was pleased to see her yesterday, and to show 
her great civility, sending her to Kirigaya in his own carriage, a mark of 
attention which is said to have pleased the lady much (1)" 



ABUKAWA, 173 ; village forge, 173. 

Abuta, Aino village, 306. 

Adzuma bridge, 22. 

Agano river, 102. 

Aganokawa river, 120. 

A Hiogo Buddha, 272. 

Aidzu mountains, 103 ; plain, 106. 

Aino farmhouse, 204 ; storehouses, 
223, 247 ; lodges, 224 ; chief, 233 
et seq.; house, 234 ; millet-mill and 
pestle, 238 ; patriarch, 258 ; gods, 
265 ; urns, 265, 266 ; house, plan 
of, 267. 

AINOS, the hairy, 225 ; superb-look- 
ing, 232 ; huts, life in, 234, 235 ; 
at home, 235 ; model villages, 237 ; 
hospitality, 237, 278 ; politeness, 

239, 250 ; witch-like woman, 239 ; 
reverence for age, 240 ; salutation, 

240, 279; truthfulness, 240 ; chief's 
wife, 242, 243; children, 244, 260; 
tenderness to a sick child, 245 ; oc- 
cupations, 247, 248 ; women, 248, 
258, 259 ; Pipichari, 249, 287 ; 
sick woman, 250, 251 ; fear of 
Japanese Government, 251; shrine, 
252 ; handsome chief, 253 ; quali- 
ties, 254 ; no history, 255 ; phy- 
sique, 255 ; of Yezo, 256 ; Euro- 
pean resemblances, 257 ; savage 
look, 257 ; height, 257 ; tat- 
tooing, 259, 260; children, obe- 
dience of, 261 ; clothing, 262 ; 
jewellery, 263 ; houses, 263-265 ; 
household gods, 265 ; Japanese 

curios, 265, 266 ; mats, 268 ; foodj 
268 ; bows and arrows, 269 ; 
arrow-traps, 269, 270 ; weaving, 
271 ; no religion, 273 ; libations, 
274 ; recitation, 275 ; solitary act 
of sacrifice, 275 ; bear-worship, 
275 ; Festival of the Bear, 275, 
277 ; ideas of a future state, 277 ; 
social customs, 277, 278 ; marriage 
and divorce, 278 ; amusements, 
279 ; musical instruments, 279 ; 
manners, 279 ; health, 279, 280 ; 
intoxication, 280 ; uncleanly habits, 
280 ; office of chief, 281 ; eldest 
son, 281 ; dread of snakes, 282 ; 
fear of death, 282 ; appearance of 
old men, 283 ; domestic life, 284. 
Ainos, coast, 304, 305 ; Lebunge, 


Akayu, 132; horse fair, 132; sulphur 
springs, 134 ; bathing sheds, 134 ; 
yadoya, 134. 

Akita farm-house, 204. 

A kuruma, 35. 

A lady's mirror, 201. 

A Lake Biwa tea-house, 20. 

Amado, or wooden shutters, 71. 

Amainu, or heavenly dogs, 27. 

Andon, the, or native lamp, 73. 

Aomori Bay, 207 ; town, 207 ; lac- 
quer, 207. 

Arai river, 122. 

Arakai river, 96 ; mode of crossing, 

Araya, 156. 




Archery galleries at Asakusa, 29. 
Architecture, temple, uniformity of, 


Arrow-traps, 269, 270. 

Asakusa, temple of Kwan-non at, 21; 

sights of, 27 ; its novelties, 30. 
Asiatic Arcadia, an, 133. 
Attendant at tea-house, 64. 

BAGGAGE coolies in distress, 126. 

Bandaisan, the double-peaked, 103. 

Bange", 100 ; congress of school- 
masters, 100 ; stampede, 101. 

Barbarism and ignorance, 107. 

Barber, female, 200. 

Barbers' shops, 77. 

Bargaining, 77. 

Bear, Festival of the, 275, 277. 

Beggary, absence of, 127. 

Benri, chief of the Ainos, 233, 240, 
241, 281, 283. 

Bettos, or running-grooms, 8. 

Binzuru, the medicine god, 26, 27. 

Biratori, 234 ; situation of, 237. 

Blind men in Japan, 175, 176. 

Boats, 178. 

Bone, a, extracted, 104. 

Booths, various, 29, 30. 

Boys and girls, a procession of, 68. 

British doggedness, 180. 

Buddhist priests, 112. 

Burial, a splendid, 54, 55. 


Canoes, 317. 

Chaya and yadoya y distinction be- 
tween, 37. 

Chayas, or tea-houses, 36, 37. 

Cheating a policeman, 152, 153. 

Children, Japanese, docility of, 75. 

Children's parties, 68 ; names, 68 ; 
69 ; games, amusing, 69 ; dignity 
and self-possession, 69 ; etiquette, 

Chinamen in Yokohama, 15. 

Chlorodyne, cures effected by, 93, 
94, 250, 251. 

Ch&kaizan, snow mountain, 139, 148 

Christian converts, 202. 

Cleanliness, want of, 94, 95. 

Climate of Niigata, 119. 

Clogs, 12. 


" Cockle's Pills," 287. 

Coiffure, 200. 

Coolies, baggage, 126, 127. 

Corrals, Yezo, 296. 

Country, a pretty, 180. 

Cow, riding a, 124. 

Cows, cotton cloths on, for protec- 
tion, 128. 

Cremation, 325 ; building for the pur- 
pose, 327 ; mode of burning, 327. 

DAIKOKU, the god of wealth, 104, 


Daimiyd, or feudal princes, 13 et seq. 
Dainichido, gardens of, 54. 
Daiya river, the, 49, 51. 
Dinner, Japanese etiquette at, 142. 
Dirt and disease, 93-95. 
Distinction between costume of moral 

and immoral women, 202. 
Ditty, a dismal, 67. 
Doctors, Japanese, prejudice againsi 

surgical operations, 141, 142. 
Dogs, Japanese, 86 ; yellow, 237. 
Doma, the, 37. 

Dr. Palm and his tandem, 121. 
Dress, female, 83, 84. 

EARTHQUAKE, shocks of, 59 ; effecl 

on priests, 59. 
Eden, a garden of, 133. 
littgante, a Japanese, 31. 
England unknown, 105. 
Entrance to shrine of Seventh Sho- 

gun, Shiba, Tokiyo, 323. 
Equipments, travelling, list of, 32, 


Etiquette, Japanese, 69. 
Excess of males over females, 98. 
Excursion, solitary, a, 203. 
Expedition, an, entertaining account 

of, 328, note. 

FAIR, perpetual, 23. 

Farm-houses, 203, 204. 

Female hand, tattooed, 260. 

Ferry, a Japanese, 96. 

Festival, the Tanabata, at Kuroishi, 

198, 199 ; of the Bear, 275. 
Fleas, consensus of opinion as to, 1 8. 
Flowers, art of arranging, 70. 
Flowers of Yezo, 227. 



" Flowing Invocation," the, 130, 


" Food Question," the, 19. 

Forgeries of European eatables and 
drinkables, 138. 

"Front-horse," a, 218, 228. 

Funeral, a Shogun's, 54, 55; Bud- 
dhist, at Rokugo, 148 ; the coffin 
or box, 150; procession, 151. 

Fujihari, 85 ; dirt and squalor at, 
86 ; primitive Japanese dog in, 
86 ; fleas, 86. 

Fujisan, first view of, 2 ; from a vil- 
lage on the Tokaid6, 326. 

Fusuma, or sliding paper panels, 38, 

Fyson, Mrs., and Ruth, 118, 119. 

GAMES, children's, 69, 195. 
Gardens, Japanese, 118. 
Geishas, or dancing-girls, 46. 
Ginsainoma, Yezo, 216. 
God-shelf, the, 72. 
Gods, Aino household, 265. 
Guide-books, Japanese, 71. 

HACHIISSI, its doll street, 49; spe- 
cialties of its shops, 49. 

Hai, "yes," 181. 

Hair-dressing, 75, 76, 201. 

HAKODATE, external aspect, 212 ; 
peculiar roofs, 213 ; junks, 320, 

Hakodate harbour, 208. 

Hepburn, Dr., 16, 17. 

Hibachi, or brazier, 77. 

Hinokiyama village, 176. 

Hirakawa river, 191 ; destruction of 
bridge, 192. 

Hirosaki, 202. 

Home-life in Japan, 71. 

Home occupations, 185. 

Honoki, pass of, 125. 

Hornets, 140. 

Horobets village, 223, 296. 

Horse, a wicked, 147. 

Horse- ants, 140. 

Horse-breaking, Japanese, 295, 307. 

Horse-fights, 307. 

Horses, treatment of, 164 ; in Yezo, 
218 ; drove of, 226, 227. 


Hotel expenses, 184. 
Hot springs, 89, 290. 
House, a pleasant, 51. 
Houses, scenes in the, 74 ; hermetic- 
ally sealed, 95 ; numbers in, 124. 
Hozawa village, 106. 

ICHIKAWA pass, 97 ; glorious view, 

97 ; village, 97 ; waterfall, 97. 
Ichinono hamlet, 127. 
Idyll, a Japanese, 151. 
Ikari, 90; the people at, 91. 
Ikarigaseki, 191 ; detention at, 193- 

196 ; occupation, 193 ; kite-flying, 

195 ; games, 195. 
Imaichi, 48. 

Inari, the god of rice-farmers, 93. 
Infant prodigy, an, 166. 
Iniwashiro lake, 99. 
Innai, 143 ; Upper and Lower. 

malady at, 144 ; description of, 

144, 145- 

Insect pests at Niigata, 1 14. 

Invocation, the flowing, 129-131. 

Irimichi, 51 ; a "squeeze" at, 65 ; 
village of, 66 ; school at, 66, 67. 

frori, the 38. 

Isshinden, temple gateway at, 311. 

ftama, the, 37. 

Ito, first impressions of, 17, 18 , 
taking a " squeeze," 65 ; personal 
vanity, 78 ; ashamed, 86, 125 ; 
cleverness and intelligence, 87 ; 
a zealous student, 87 ; intensely 
Japanese, 87 ; a Shintoist, 88 ; 
particularly described, 161 ; ex- 
cellent memory, 161 ; keeps a 
diary, 161 ; characteristics, 162 ; 
prophecy, 162 ; patriotism, 162 ; 
an apt pupil, 163 ; fairly honest, 
164 ; surliness, 175 ; delinquency, 
214 ; selfishness, 236 ; smitten, 
287; cruelty, 307 ; parting, 321. 

Itosawa, 93. 

Itoyasan precipices, 103. 

Iwakisan plain, 197 ; snow mountain, 

lyemitsu, temple of, at Nikko, 58. 

Iye*yasu's tomb at Nikko, 58. 

JAPAN, first view of, I ; Chinamen 
in, 15; tiling in, 60; home -life 




in, 71 ; excess of males over fe- 
males in the empire of, 98 ; free- 
dom from insult and incivility in, 
101 ; barbarism and ignorance in, 
107 ; winter evenings in, 123 ; 
divorce in, 124 ; absence of men- 
dicancy in, 127 ; convict labour in, 
137 ; drawbacks of travelling in, 
140 ; firmness in travelling ne- 
cessary in, 155 ; police force in, 
and cost of, 160 ; blind men in, 
1 75> 176 5 effect of sunshine in, 
183 ; evening occupations in, 185 ; 
rain in, 187 ; cremation in, 325- 


JAPANESE restaurant, portable, 4 ; 
paper -money, 7; man-cart, 9; 
railroad and railway station, 10 ; 
railway cars, II ; in European 
dress, II ; clogs, 12; temple 
architecture, uniformity of, 21 ; 
temples, 21, 55, 58, 99, 151, 302, 
303 ; lanterns, stone, 28 ; booths, 
2 9, 3 > temple grounds and arch- 
ery galleries, 29 ; elegante, 31 ; 
passport, 33, 34; tattooing, 34; 
tea, 39 ; threshing, varieties in, 
44 ; inquisitiveness, 45 ; dancing- 
girls, 46 ; idyll, 51 ; masonry, 58 ; 
wood-carving, 60 ; watering-place, 
65 ; school, a village, 66 punish- 
ments at, 67 ; children's parties, 
68 ; names, female, 68, 69 ; 
etiquette, 69 ; needle-work and 
garments, 69 ; circulating libraries, 
9j 70; games, children's, 69, 195 ; 
children's names, 69 ; caligraphy, 
70; guide-books, 71 ; recreations, 
71 ; lamp, 73 ; shops, articles sold 
in, 73, 74; parental love, 75 ; hair- 
dressing, 75, 76, 201 ; children, 
docility of, 75 ; barbers' shops, 
77 ; bargaining, 77 ; money, cur- 
rent, 79 ; female dress, 83, 84 ; 
dog, primitive, 86 ; rivers, change 
of names of, 90 ; ferry, 96 ; 
policemen, 100 vigilance of, 197, 
198 ; mountain scenery, 103 ; 
gardens, 118; doctors, 121; dirt 
and barbarism, 123 ; houses, tables 
outside of, 124 numbers in, 124 ; 
baggage coolies, 126, 127 ; cows, 

128 ; criticism on a foreign usage, 
128 ; pack-horse, 132 ; doctors and 
rheumatism, 135, 136 their preju- 
dice against surgical operations, 
141, 142 ; gentleman, agreeable, 
137; convicts, 137; love of foreign 
intoxicants, 138 ; doctor, 141 ; 
his treatment and fee, 141 ; 
etiquette at dinner, 142 ; men and 
women, costume of, 143 ; crowd, 
curiosity of, 146 ; treatment of the 
dead, 149 ; silk factory, 159 ; horses, 
treatment of, 164, 218 ; belief as 
to their descent, 165 ; visitors, 
165 ; infant prodigy, 166 ; mar- 
riage, 166, 167 ; trousseau, 167 ; 
furniture, 167 ; marriage cere - 
mony, 167, 169 ; holiday scene, 
170; festivals, 171, 198, 199, 275; 
gods and demons, 172 ; village 
forge, 1 73 ; travelling, fatigues of, 
of, 175 ludicrous incidents of, 
182; boats, 178; kindness, 181 ; 
conversation, effect of, 185 ; 
home occupations, 185; devotions, 
186 ; children, 193, 194 ; kite fly- 
ing and games, 195 ; toilet, a 
lady's, zoo ; coiffure, 200 ; hair- 
dressing, 200, 20 1 ; female barber, 
200 ; lady's mirror, 201 ; farm- 
houses, 203, 204 ; bath-houses, 
politeness in, 205, 218 ; imita- 
tations of foreign manufactured 
British goods, 218 ; horse-break- 
ing, 295, 307; road -post, 301; 
Paradise, 309; canoes, 317; junks, 
320, 321. 

Jin-ri-ki-shas, 4, 5 (see Kuruma}. 

Jishindo, or "earthquake door," 304. 

Junks, 320. 

"John Chinaman," 15, 16. 

Journey, an experimental, on horse- 
back, 62. 

Juvenile belle and her costume, a, 68. 

KaimiyS, or posthumous name, 130, 


Kaitakushi saddle-horse, 218. 
Kajikawa river, 120. 
Kakemonos, or wall-pictures, 46, 52. 
Katfke, a Japanese disease, 144, 





Kamidana, the, or god-shelf, 72. 
Kaminoyama, 134; hot springs, 135; 

the belle of, 135 ; yadoya, 136 ; 

kura, or godown, 136. 
Kanaya, 50; his house, 51, 52; floral 

decorations, 52 ; table equipments, 


Kanayama, 140. 

Kasayanage, farming village, 120. 
Kashitsukeya, disreputable houses, 46. 
Kasukabe", 39 ; the yadoya, 39 ; 

lack of privacy, 40 ; a night 

alarm, 41. 

Katakado hamlet, 102. 
Kawaguchi village, 122, 181. 
Kayashima, 93 ; discomfort, 93 ; a 

boy cured, 94 ; a diseased crowd, 

94 ; habits and food of the natives, 

94 ; houses hermetically sealed, 95. 
Kenrei, or provincial governor, 115. 
Kimono, the, or gown for both sexes, 

43 et seq. 
Kinugawa river, 84, 89 ; beauty of 

scenery on its banks, 89. 
Kiri Furi, the falls of, 54. 
Kiriishi hamlet, 177. 
Kisagoi, a poor place, 82. 
Kisaki, 1 20. 
Kite competition, 195. 
K6ch6 t or chief man of the village, 


Kohiaku, mountain farm of, 81. 

Komatsu, 131 ; spacious room and 
luxurious appointments, 131; frogs, 
132 ; runaway pack-horse, 132. 

Komoni-taki volcano, 216. 

Kotsunagi, 177. 

Kubota, 155; brisk trade, 156; sub- 
urban residences, 156 ; hospital, 
157-158 ; public buildings, 158 ; 
Normal School, 158 ; silk factory, 
159; police escort, 159; afternoon 
visitors, 165 ; infant prodigy, 166; 
Japanese wedding, 167-169. 

Kura, or fire-proof storehouse, 53. 

Kuroishi, 198 ; festival at, 198, 199. 

Kurokawa, 121; matsuri &t, 122. 

Kurosawa, poverty and dulness, 123 ; 
dirt and barbarism, 125. 

Kuruma, the, or jin-ri-ki-sha, 4, 5, 

35 ^ "9> 
Kuruma pass, 103. 

A"ttr#wa-runners, costume of, 34. 

Kurumatoge, 92-; inn on the hill, 
103; bone extracted, 104; hostess, 
104 ; the road from, infamous, 
1 06; pass, 1 06. 

Kusamoto, Mr., 325, 326. 

KWAN-NON, temple of, at Asakusa, 
21 ; perpetual fair, 23 ; the Ni-6, 
24 ; votive offerings, 25 ; the high 
altar, 25 ; prayers and pellets, 26; 
Binzuru, the medicine god, 26, 
27; Amainu, or heavenly dogs, 
27 ; stone lanterns, 28 ; revolving 
shrine, 28 ; temple grounds and 
archery galleries, 29 ; booths, 29, 

LAGOON, curious, 172. 

Lake of Blood, the, 131. 

Lamp, Japanese, 73. 

Land Transport Company, or Riku- 

un-kaisha, 79. 
Lanterns, stone, 28. 
Lebunge, 310; its isolation, 312; 

Ainos, 312, 313. 
Lebung&oge passes, 308. 
Legation, the British, at Yedo, 1 3. 
Libraries, circulating, 69, 70. 
Ludicrous incident, a, 152. 

Mago, the, or leader of a pack-horse, 

62, 84. 

Maladies, repulsive, prevalence of, 76. 
Man-carts, two-wheeled, 8, 9. 
Mari, farming- village, 120. 
Maro, or loin-cloth, 46. 
Marriage, a Japanese, 166, 167 ; 

trousseau and furniture, 167 ; 

ceremony, 167, 169. 
Masonry, Japanese, 58. 
Matsuhara village, mistake at, 129. 
Matsuka river, 133. 
Matsuri at Minato, 171 ; classic 

dance, 171 ; cars, 171. 
Medicine god, the, at Asakusa, 26, 27. 
Mihashi, or Sacred Bridge, 50. 
Mikoshi, or sacred car, 24. 
Millet-mill and pestle, 238. 
Minato, the junk port of Kubota, 

170; matsurtat, 170, 171 ; sobriety 

and order, 171. 
Mirror, a lady's, 201. 




"MISSING LINK," the, 314. 
Miyojintake, snow-fields and ravines, 


Mogami river, 139. 
Mombets, 286 ; scenes at, 286. 
Money, 7 ; current, 79. 
Mono, farming village, 120. 
Moore, Captain, 322. 
Moral lesson, a, 36. 
Mori village, 317, 318, 220. 
Morioka village, 173. 
Mororan, 221 ; bay, 222. 
Mororan, Old, 297, 298. 
Mountain scenery, 103. 
Mud-flat or swamp of Yedo, 36. 
My #rw;#a-runner, 305. 
Myself in a straw rain-cloak, 176. 

NAKAJO, Japanese doctors at, 121. 

Nakano, Lower, 205 ; bath-houses, 

Nakano, Upper, 204, 205. 

Names, female, 68, 69. 

Namioka, 207. 

Nanai, Yezo, 218. 

Nantaizan mountains, 49. 

Needle-work, Japanese, 69. 

Night-alarm, a, 41. 

NIIGATA, landward side disappoint- 
ing, in; Church Mission House, 
III, 112; itinerary of route from 
Nikko to, 113; a Treaty Port, 
114; insect pests, 114; without 
foreign trade, 114; its river, 114, 
115; population, 115; hospital 
and schools, 115; gardens, 116; 
beautiful tea-houses, 116; cleanli- 
ness, 116; water-ways, 116; houses, 
117, 118; climate, 119; to Aomori, 
itinerary of route from, 210, 211. 

Nikkosan mountains, the, 80. 

NlKK8, "sunny splendour," 54 > its 
beauties, 54 ; the Red Bridge, 55 ; 
the Yomei Gate, 56 ; the mythical 
Kirin, 56 ; the haiden or chapel, 
57 ; the Shogun's room, 57 ; the 
Abbot's room, 57 ; the great stair- 
case, 57 ; lyeyasu's tomb, 58 ; 
temples of lyemetsu, 58 ; gigantic 
Ni-6, 58 ; Buddha, 59 ; the Tenn6, 
59; wood-carving, 60, 61 ; shops, 


73, 74 ; houses, 75 ; to Niigata, 
itinerary of route from, 113. 

Ni-S, the, at Asakusa, 24. 

Nocturnal disturbance, a, 179. 

Nojiri village, 103, 104. 

Nopkobets river, 306. 

Nosoki, Dr., 141 ; lotion and febri- 
fuge, 141 ; old-fashioned practi- 
tioner, 142 ; at dinner, 142. 

Nosoki village, 143. 

Nozawa town, 103. 

Numa hamlet, 123 ; crowded dwell- 
ings, 124. 


Odate, 181 ; yadoyas, nocturnal 
disturbances at, 181, 182. 

Okawa stream, 90. 

Okimi, 124. 

Omagori, manufacture of earthen- 
ware jars for interment, 149, 150 

Omono river, 143, 148, 155, 156. 

Ori pass, 124. 

Oshamamb6, 315. 

Osharu river, 301. 

Ouchi hamlet, 96. 

Oyake lake, 97. 

PACK- Cows, 124, 128. 

Pack-horse, the Japanese, .62, 63 ; 

a vicious, 102. 

Pack-saddle, description of, 62, 63. 
Packet-boat, "running the rapids" 

of Tsugawa, 109, no. 
Palm, Dr., his tandem, 121. 
Paper-money, 7. 
Parental love, 75. 
Parkes, Sir Harry and Lady, 8. 
Parting, a regretful, 50. 
Passport, travelling, 33 ; regulations 

of, 33, 34- 

Peasant costume, 43. 
Pellets and prayers, 26. 
Picture and guidebooks, Japanese, 7 1 . 
Pipicharo, the Aino, 249, 250, 252, 

287 ; a "total abstainer," 249. 
Poison and arrow -traps, 269. 
Priests, Buddhist, fees to, 151. 
Prospect, a painful, 19. 

QUERIES, curious, 163. 

" Quiver of poverty," the, 92 




RAIN-CLOAK, straw, 176. 
Reception, a formal, 157. 
Reiheishi-kaido, an "In memoriam" 

avenue, 48. 

Restaurant, portable, 4. 
Rice, 36. 
Rivers, Japanese, change of names 

of, 90. 

Road-side tea-house, 38. 
Rokkukado, the, 288. 
Rokugo, 148 ; Buddhist funeral at, 

148 ; temple at, 151. 


Sakamoki river, 137 ; handsome 
bridge at, 137. 

Sakatsu pass, 143. 

Sakl, the national drink, 71, 168, 
169 ; effects of, 71, 183 ; libations 
of, 274. 

Sakuratoge" river, 128. 

Salisburia adiantifolia, 309, 313. 

Samisen, the national female instru- 
ment, 70. 

Sampans, or native boats, 3 ; mode 
of sculling, 4. 

Sanno pass, 96. 

Sarufuto, 231. 

Sarufutogawa river, 237, 246. 

Satow, Mr. Ernest, Japanese Secre- 
tary of Legation, 14 ; his reputa- 
tion, 199. 

Satsu, or paper money, 7. 

Savage life at Biratori, 234-236. 

School, a village, 66 ; lessons and 
punishments, 67. 

Science, native, dissection unknown 
to, 142. 

Scramble, a Yezo, 228. 

Seaweed, symbolism of, 165. 

Seed shop, a, 78. 

Servant, engaging a, 16-18. 

Shinagawa or Shinbashi village, 12. 

Shinano river, 114, 115, 120. 

Shingoji, 153 ; rude intrusion, 153. 

Shinjo, 139; trade, 139; discom- 
forts, 140. 

Shinkawa river, 120. 

Shione pass, 143. 

Shirakasawa, mountain village, 128 ; 
graceful act at, 129. 

Shiraoi village, 226, 289 ; volcanic 

phenomena, 290 ; hot spring, 291 ; 

lianas, 292 ; beautiful scenery, 292, 

293 ; bear-trap, 293 ; houses, 294. 
Shirawasa, 183 ; eclipse at, 186. 
Shiribetsan mountain, 301. 
Shoes, straw, a nuisance, 88. 
Shdji, or sliding screens, 40. 
Shopping, 77. 
Shops, Japanese, articles sold in, 73, 


Shrine, revolving, 28. 
Shrines, beauty of, 60. 
Sight, a strange, 81. 
Silk factory, 159. 
Sir Harry's messenger, 42. 
Skin-diseases, 76. 
Solitary ride, a, 216-219. 
Springs, hot, 89. 
"Squeeze," a, 19, 65. 
Stone lanterns, 28. 
Storm, effects of a, 188. 
Straw rain-cloak, 176, 177. 
Straw shoes for horses, 88. 
Street, a clean, 49. 
Street and canal, 117. 
Sulphur spring at Yumoto, 65. 
Sumida river, 22. 
Summer and winter costume, 82. 

TAIHEISAN mountain, 156. 
Tajima, 96. 

Takadayama mountain, 88. 
Takahara, 88, 89 ; hot springs, 89. 
Takata, 99 ; general aspect, 100 ; 

policemen at, 100. 
Tamagawa hamlet, 124. 
Tarumai volcano, 227, 228. 
Tatami, or house mats, 40. 
Tattooing, 34, 259, 260. 
Tea, Japanese, 39. 
Teishi, or landlord, 39. 
Temple architecture, uniformity of, 


Tendo town, 138. 
Threshing, varieties in, 44. 
Tochigi, 45 ; the yadoya and sh$ji, 


Tochiida, 139. 
Togenoshita, 318. 
Toilet, a lady's, 200 ; hair -dressing, 

200, 20 1 ; paint and cosmetics, 

201, 202 ; mirror, 201. 




ToKiyd, 10 ; first impressions, 12 ; 
the British Legation, 13 ; Kwan- 
non temple of Asakusa, 21 ; a 
perpetual fair, 23 ; archery galleries, 
29 ; western innovations, 30 ; 
tranquillity of, 324. 

Tokonoma, or floors of polished wood, 

Tomakomai, 227. 

Tone, river, 43. 

Torii t a, 149. 

Toyoka village, 174. 

Transport, prices, 79 ; agent, 97. 

Travelling equipments, 32, 33 ; pass- 
ports, 33, 34. 

Travelling, slow, 143. 

Tsugawa river, 106 ; yadoya, 107 ; 
town, 1 08 ; packet-boat, 109; 
"running the rapids," 109; fan- 
tastic scenery, no; river -course, 
no; river-life, no. 

Tsuguriko, 180. 

Tsuiji, farming village, 120, 121. 

Tsukuno, 134. 

Tufa cones, 290. 

"Typhoon," a, 322. 

"Typhoon rain," a, 297. 

UDONOSAN snow-fields, 139. 
Universal greyness, 207 ; language, 

the, 296. 

Unpleasant detention, an, 187. 
Usu, 302 ; temple, 302, 303 ; bay, 

304 ; Aino lodges at, 304. 
Usu-taki volcano, 300. 
Utsu pass, view from, 129. 

VEGETATION, tropical, 85. 
Village life, 47. 

Vineyards on the Tsugawa, in. 
Volcano Bay, 220. 

Watering-place, a native, 65. 
Waterproof cloak, a paper, 78. 
Water-shed, the, 93. 
Welcome, a wild, 208, 209. 
Wilkinson, Mr., 19. 
Winter dismalness, 123. 
Women, employment for, 159. 


Wood-carving at Nikko, 60. 
Worship, a supposed act of, 244. 

YADATE Pass, 188, 189 ; the fore* of 
water, 189 ; landslips, 189. 

Yadoya, or hotel, 37, 39, 45, 48, 63, 
6 5> 85, 93. 100, 101, 103, 107, 122, 
123, 131, 132, 134, 136, 144, 147, 
156, 178, 179, 181, 191, 195, 217, 

220, 226, 280, 294, 315, 316, 318; 

taxes on, 136, 

Yamagata^w, 125; prosperous, 137; 
plain, 137; convict labour at, 137; 
town, 137; its streets, 137; for- 
geries of eatables and drinkables, 
138 ; public buildings, 138 ; vul- 
garity of policemen, 138. 

Yamakushinoi hamlet, 316. 

Yedo city, 10 (see Tokiyo) ; gulf of, 
II ; plain of, 11. 

YEZO, 216, 217 ; itinerary of tour in, 

Yokohama, 3 ; sampans, 3 ; portable 
restaurant, 4 ; kurumas, or jin-ri- 
ki-shas, 4 ; man-carts, 8 ; railway 
station and fares, 10, n ; China- 
men, 15. 

Yokokawa, 92 ; filth and squalor, 92. 

Yokote, 147 ; discomfort, 148; Shin- 
to temple, 148 ; torii, 148. 

Yomei Gate, the, 56. 

Yonetsurugawa river, 177 ; exciting 
transit, 177, 178. 

Yonezawa plain, 129, 131, 133. 

Yoshida, 133. 

Yoshitsune, shrine of, 252, 253, 273, 

Yubets, 228, 289 ; a ghostly dwelling 
at, 229. 

Yuki, her industry, 69. 

Yumoto village, 65 ; bathing sheds 
at, 65. 

Yurapu, Aino village, 316; river, 

Yusowa, 145 ; fire at, 145 ; lunch in 
public, 146 ; accident at, 146 ; 
curiosity of crowd, 146. 

Zen, or small table, 53. 



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subject, knows every trick of the craft, bubbles over with love and considera- 
tion for his dogs and ferrets, and writes with the directness, simplicity, and 
wealth of homely imagery which characterise the best chronicles of rural lore. 




Rev. CHARLES GORE, D.D., LL.D., Bishop of Birmingham. 

The success of this book must constitute a record in modern sermonic 
literature. There can be no question, however, that its success is due to its 
own intrinsic value. Cultured and scholarly, and yet simple and luminous, 
eloquent in tone and graceful in diction, practical and stimulating, it is far and 
away the best exposition of the Sermon on the Mount that has yet appeared. 

THE HOUSE OF QUIET. An Autobiography. 


"The House of Quiet " is an autobiography, and something more a series 
of very charming essays on people and life particularly rural life. The 
writer has placed himself in the chair of an invalid, an individual possessed of 
full mental vigour and free from bodily pain, but compelled by a physical 
weakness to shirk the rough and tumble of a careless, unheeding, work-a-day 
world. Cheerfully accepting the inevitable, he betakes himself to a little 
temple of solitude, where he indulges himself in mild criticism and calm 
philosophy, exercising a gift of keen observation to the full, but setting down 
all that comes within his ken, with quaint and tolerant humour and tender 
whimsicalness. He writes with a pen dipped in the milk of human kindness, 
and the result is a book to read time and again. 


The Guardian says : "The style of the writing is equally simple and yet 
dignified ; from beginning to end an ease of movement charms the reader. 
The book is abundantly suggestive. . . . The work is that of a scholar and 
a thinker, quick to catch a vagrant emotion, and should be read, as it was 
evidently written, in leisure and solitude. It covers a wide range art, nature, 
country life, human character, poetry and the drama, morals and religion." 


13th to the 16th Centuries. By JULIA CARTWRIGHT (Mrs. ADY). 
With Illustrations. 

Mrs. Ady is a competent and gifted writer on Italian painting, and presents 
in these 350 pages an excellent history of the splendid art and artists of 
Florence during the golden period from Cimabue and Giotto to Andrea del 
Sarto and Michelangelo. Those who are taking up the study of the subject 
could not wish a more interesting and serviceable handbook. 


By Mrs. BISHOP (ISABELLA BIRD). With Illustrations. 

The Irish Times says : " 'A Lady's Life in the Rocky Mountains' needs 
no introduction to a public who have known and admired Mrs. Bishop 
(Isabella L. Bird) as a fearless traveller in the days when it was something of 
an achievement for a woman to undertake long and remote journeys. Mrs. 
Bishop is a charming and spirited writer, and this cheap edition of her work 
will be heartily welcomed." 





This is the standard biography of the great missionary who will for ever 
stand pre-eminent among African travellers. 

DEEDS OF NAVAL DARING; or, Anecdotes of 

the British Navy. By EDWARD GIFFARD. 

This work contains ninety-three anecdotes, told in everyday language, of 
such traits of courage and feats of individual daring as may best serve to illus- 
trate the generally received idea of the British sailor's character for "courage 
verging on temerity." 

SINAI AND PALESTINE in connection with their 

History. By the late DEAN STANLEY. With Maps. 

" There is no need, at this time of day, to praise the late Dean Stanley's 
fascinating story of his travels in Palestine. It is enough to say that here 
Mr. Murray has given us, for the sum of one shilling net, a delightful reprint of 
that charming book, with maps and plans and the author's original advertise- 
ment and prefaces. We would especially commend this cheap storehouse of 
history, tradition, and observation to Bible students." Dundee Courier. 


ZONS. A Record of Adventures, Habits of Animals, Sketches of 
Brazilian and Indian Life, and Aspects of Nature under the Equator, 
during Eleven Years of Travel. By H. W. BATES, F.R.S. Numerous 

There are few works on natural history which appeal with the same degree 
of fascination to the lay person as "The Naturalist on the River Amazons." 
It is a most readable record of adventures, sketches of Brazilian and Indian 
life, habits of animals, and aspects of nature under the Equator during eleven 
years of travel. 


Few books in the whole history of literature have had such wide popularity 
or such healthy and stimulating effect as the works of Samuel Smiles during 
the last half-century. How great men have attained to greatness and successful 
men achieved success is the subject of these enthralling volumes which are 
now brought within the reach of all. 

SELF-HELP. With Illustrations of Conduct and 

Perseverance. With Portrait. 

LIFE AND LABOUR ; or, Characteristics of Men 

of Industry, Culture, and Genius. 

CHARACTER. A Book of Noble Characteristics, 

With Frontispiece. 




Cloth, is. net ; lambskin, 2s. net 

SELF-HELP. With Illustrations of Conduct and 

Perseverance. 512 pages, with 6 Half-tone Illustrations. 

CHARACTER. A Book of Noble Characteristics. 

448 pages, with 6 Half-tone Illustrations. 

DUTY. With Illustrations of Courage, Patience, and 

Endurance. 496 pages, with 5 Half-tone Illustrations. 

THRIFT. A Book of Domestic Counsel. 448 pages, 

with 7 Half-tone Illustrations. 




Cloth, is. net ; leather, 2s. net 

THE BIBLE IN SPAIN ; or, the Journeys, Adven- 

tures and Imprisonments of an Englishman in an Attempt to 
Circulate the Scriptures in the Peninsular. With the Notes and 
Glossary of ULICK BURKE. With 4 Illustrations. 

THE GYPSIES OF SPAIN. Their Manners, Customs, 

Religion, and Language. With 7 Illustrations by A. WALLIS MILLS. 

LAVENGRO: the Scholar, the Gypsy, the Priest. 

Containing the unaltered Text of the original issue ; some Suppressed 
Episodes printed only in the Editions issued by Mr. Murray ; MS. 
Variorum, Vocabulary, and Notes by Professor W. I. KNAPP. With 
8 Pen and Ink Sketches by PERCY WADHAM. 

ROMANY RYE. A Sequel to " Lavengro." Collated and 
revised in the same manner as " Lavengro" by Professor W. I. KNAPP. 
With 7 Pen and Ink Sketches by F. G. KITTON. 

WILD WALES: Its People, Language, and Scenery. 

With Map and 8 Illustrations by A. S. HARTRICK. 

ROMANO LAVO LIL: the Word Book of the 

Romany or English Gypsy Language. With Specimens of Gypsy 
Poetry, and an account of certain Gypsyries or Places inhabited by them, 
and of various things relating to Gypsy Life in England. 



Mr. Murray's Standard Works 

Large Crown 8vo, 2s. 6d. net each 

cumnavigator. By ARTHUR KlTSON. With Illustrations. 
At the time of the appearance of this book, it was accepted by the Press as 
the best authority so far published on the life of the " Great Circumnavigator." 
In this cheaper edition the Author has been able to bring to light " some new 
facts," and to clear up decisively several doubtful points. 

JOHN MURRAY: A Publisher and his Friends. 

Memoir and Correspondence of the second John Murray, with an Account 
of the Origin and Progress of the House, 1768-1843. By SAMUEL 
SMILES, LL.D. Edited by THOMAS MACK AY. With Portraits. 

GENERAL SIR HARRY SMITH, 1787-1819. Edited by G. C. 
MOORE SMITH. With Map and Portrait. 

A COTSWOLD VILLAGE; or, Country Life and 

Pursuits in Gloucestershire. By J. ARTHUR GIBBS. With Illus- 

DOG BREAKING : the Most Expeditious, Certain, 

and Easy Method. With Odds and Ends for those who love the Dog 
and Gun. By General W. N. HUTCHINSON. With numerous Illus- 


PANIONS. By the late Admiral Sir F. LEOPOLD McCuNTOCK, R.N. 
A Cheap Edition. With Portraits and other 1 llustrations and Maps. 


By the Rev. G. R. GLEIG. With Map and Illustrations. 


Rev. G. R. GLEIG. Illustrated. 






Account of a Voyage in 1856, in the Schooner Yacht Foam, to Iceland, 
Jan Meyen, and Spitzbergen. By the late MARQUESS OF DUFFERIN. 
With Portrait and Illustrations. 


AND SUSSEX. By Louis J. JENNINGS. Illustrated. 


in Palestine, Egypt, and the Waters of Damascus. By JOHN MACGREGOR, 
M.A., Captain of the Royal Canoe Club. With Maps and Illustrations. 


1779-1783. With a Description and Account of that Garrison from 
the Earliest Times. By JOHN DRINKWATER, Captain in the Seventy- 
second Regiment of Royal Manchester Volunteers. With Plans. 


Administrator. By Captain LIONEL J. TROTTER. With Portrait and 
3 Maps. 


OF THE BIBLE. With Maps and Illustrations. 


OF ENGLAND. From the Earliest Times to the Present Day. By 
WILLIAM BOYD CARPENTER, Bishop of Ripon, Hon. D.C.L., Oxon. 
With 1 6 Illustrations. 


SMITH. With Illustrations. 


(Isabella L. Bird) 
HAWAIIAN ARCHIPELAGO. Six Months among the 

Palm Groves and Coral Reefs and Volcanoes of the Sandwich Islands. 
With Illustrations. 


to the Aborigines of Yezo, and the Shrines of Nikk6 and Is6. Map 
and Illustrations. 

\* Complete List of the Volumes in this Series will be sent post free 
on application. 


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